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Review: Ruthless - They Rise
They Rise

Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 60:40
Tracks: 14
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal


Review online: May 2, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (14 Votes)

Ruthless is a band that kicked around Los Angeles in the 80s, hung up their instruments around 1990 and reformed in 2008 when Heavy Metal was once again on the upswing here in the U.S. Pure Steel Records is all over giving these reformed bands an outlet for their music and usually does a nice job adding in some extra value and that's no different with the band's new album They Rise. The addition of the Metal Without Mercy EP from 1984 makes for a cool comparison between the Ruthless of today and of 30 years ago.

Ruthless plays Traditional Heavy Metal, not too fast, not too slow that is modern without resorting to crap like down-tuning or harsh vocals. Sammy DeJohn has a powerful voice with great tone and sounds wonderfully unenhanced, a little like Phil Swanson. He's right up front in the mix and sounds like he's standing right next to you and that gives tracks like "Defender" and "Systematic Terror" a lot of extra punch. The riffs are standard and a bit Thrashy with songwriting that is above average but not outstanding. Tracks 10-14, originally recorded in 1984, have that old school charm with lots of echo and more energy than anything else.

If you like bands like Ravage and Steel Assassin, Ruthless' current material should appeal to you while the old stuff is a cool trip back in time. They Rise isn't a revelation but it is solid all the way through.

More about Ruthless...
Review: Evil Within (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: They Rise (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist Ken McGee on February 15, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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