Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 10/31/2006
posted on 12/2006 By:
This is an interesting release for me because I have had the good fortune of seeing this band grow at an alarming rate. I was first introduced to For Ruin through a split with one of John Murphy’s other projects. For Ruin was by far the more melodic and accomplished of the two, so I was happy to see that Mr. Murphy decided to focus his efforts exclusively on For Ruin.
There is an insanely addictive quality to For Ruin that begs for an appropriately verbose description: One that I am certainly not capable of giving, though I will try. Melodic black/death metal doesn’t do the band an ounce of justice. This is the kind of melody that oozes emotion without having to slap you in the face with overwrought lyrical clichés. Simply put, if one were able to listen to death, Obsidian would certainly be a beautiful one. It’s an all too ephemeral excursion to your grave.
Normally I loathe “melodic” death metal. Either I have untrained ears or it really does all sound the same. When I heard For Ruin’s songs from that split I found myself pleasantly surprised by the mood and atmosphere within. They had a raw spirit, not unlike an even less polished In Flames circa Lunar Strain. Purely riff-driven with cutting vocals. Harmonies out the ass. Guaranteed to make you break your neck. Since then Murphy enlisted three Irish cohorts to round out a real band and I am proud to say they have managed to one-up themselves again.
Murphy and the gang made a wise decision in keeping this EP short. The only real downer sets in near album’s end when you realize you are very close to finishing the best 22 minutes of melodic death metal unleashed in ’06. Some of this is pretty stunning, most notably “Treading ’06”, a nearly 8 minute instrumental that ebbs and flows in gorgeously arranged fashion. Progressive, to say the least. Sure, it’s relatively simple, but simple is a welcome escape from the unnecessarily pretentious one-upmanship of modern melo-death.
The remaining three tracks scream harmony from blackened lungs. Though they are not a complete departure from “Treading ’06”, they are certainly punchier. That addictively clean tone is still there, but the vocals really add another dimension to the music. “Wake” is the best of the three, simply because I still can’t get its main riff out of my head after first listening to it over a month ago. That said, they’re all gems. EP opener “December” is a haze of harmony. Smart of ‘em to open with an instrumental, too. The riffs do most of the band’s talking anyway. “Into Red” and “Jaded” are slightly less interesting than the others but the benchmark is high and they are still great songs.
I have said it before and I will say it again, For Ruin is a band to watch. Mr. Murphy was clearly encouraged and inspired by positive reviews to the split and the demo that followed, because he has displayed marked improvement since then. If you are sick of overly-polished melodic death for the mall and me-first McDonalds culture then For Ruin is the band for you.
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