Review – Ruin: Drown in Blood

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  • Bio: "Not much is known about these miscreants in this band know as RUIN. The small amount of information that we do know is that the band was formed back in 1991, somewhere in the United States. Due to various members of the band being incarcerated and institutionalized, RUIN was disbanded at some point later that year." - Bandcamp
  • Label: Memento Mori
  • Release Date: April 24th, 2017
  • Genre: Death Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Before the guessing game begins, this is the Ruin from Phelan, California, and not the one from Massachusetts, Florida, New York, Maine, or in the number of various countries across the globe. What once was a three-piece now stands as a duo featuring the only remaining founding member Mihail Jason Satan on vocals and guitars, as well as a drummer named David who is also involved with Aeternum and Oscuros. And don’t worry if you never heard of this Ruin before. 1991 saw the Sickening Ruin demo, and silence until the 2015 demo Spread Plague Hell, followed by some splits and a compilation into this year. Drown in Blood marks the debut full-length, but has the wait been worth it, or has the idle time done the group in somewhat?

Check out an interview TO-Metal.com did with the band at THIS LOCATION.

Drown in Blood wastes no time in establishing its raw audio values on par with a late eighties/early nineties recording. The bass heavy “The Thirst for Annihilation” comes off more like a White Zombie album with a stronger death metal overtone. The doom heavy slower pacing sets up a minor psychedelic high to the atmosphere before picking up speed approaching two-and-a-half minutes in an effort to become as soul crushing as a Mortician album. And that becomes the main problem here. The bass tracks are just not rich enough to pull that off. Instead they opt for volume instead of tuning, which drowns out most of the guitars in the faster sections or tracks.

“Rancid Death” sets the expectation of obediently following a cult in the midnight hours through a marsh or a graveyard, but what follows is more of a death’n’roll performance on par with Six Feet Under. Truthfully, it isn’t bad. In fact the song itself is really good when you sit down and dissect what the duo are playing in the studio. The problem is that this one relies on more of a swedish death metal groove, but the rest of the cut feels too clean and ultimately unimpressive beyond the later era pre-disbanding of Carcass passage and guitar solo around four minutes in.

RuinYou also have “Crawling Through the Vomit”, which is a bit of a mixed bag of enjoyment. This one can be summed up as incredibly fuzzy following the spoken word audio sample introduction, a tactic utilized on many other songs. That distortion does give a rather trippy stoner or sludge sensation to much of the song that is greatly appreciated, but when the pace picks up the infectiousness that will have your head bobbing along dies down, leaving you yearning for the smoke-filled haze once more. “Torture is Heaven” also kind of falls in line with that one, but when not honing in on a dismal doom tone, there’s a number of haunting hooks that don’t really have a major bite to them, but set the mood nicely. Even the increase in speed at the end manages to capture enough enthusiasm to act as a nice closing before bleeding into the aforementioned “Rancid Death” and its audio sample start.

Unfortunately, outside some of the doom metal inspired ceremonial elements and hypnotic rhythms that almost command you to bob your head along, Drown in Blood is a pretty unimpressive outing. Taking obvious cues from bands like Six Feet Under and Mortician, as well as a sizeable amount of swedish death metal inspired by the likes of Dismember and Bloodbath, there’s very little on this release that sounds unique or memorable. Instead you get a generic sounding release punctuated with generic Wilhelm screams on repeat as the closing title track wraps things up, all with a lackluster finish as far as the audio quality goes, which is just disheartening given how long this album has been lying in wait to be put together.

RuinDigital review copy of this release provided by Memento Mori.