Front The Final Foes
posted on 1/2010 By:
Australia's Ruins are wasting little time, releasing Front the Final Foes barely a year after the somewhat-acclaimed Cauldron. This effort (their third) finds the band packing and compacting their black metal wares into leaden fists of fury, punching and striking their way to the surface with beefcake riff after beefcake riff.
Yep, Ruins are on steroids. The sheer mass they've gained since Cauldron is impressive, and they wear it well. Foes boasts robust mix, providing opener "Breath of Void" with a blow-your-hair-back force the band lacked on previous releases. In the wake of this transformation, however, Ruins have lost some of the texture and nuance that graced prior tracks like "Genesis." To be blunt, they've morphed into a Goatwhore clone. (And, by default, Celtic Frost stand-ins.) "Sum of Your Loss" and "Cult Rapture" are total doppelgangers; they're solid, menacing tracks, but far too familiar. The same can be said even for a monster like "Keeping This Crown," which uses snarling riffcraft and impeccable groove to fend off tarnish.
Front the Final Foes showcases some serious talent, as well as a knack for immediacy. However, Ruins' regression in maturity is a disappointment. The band have unwisely shifted their focus to instant gratification, thus ignoring their prospective long-term health. The powerful nature of the recording--coupled with the band's heavy hands--makes for an accessible, entry-level black metal exhibition, but the walls of these Ruins are dangerously hollow.
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