Ruled by Reason: The Dawning of Dystopia

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Ruled by Reason: The Dawning of Dystopia
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Ruled by Reason: The Dawning of Dystopia
Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore, Progressive Metal
The Execution Kollective
March 29th, 2011
Release length: 42:38
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Ruled by Reason is a Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore act that formed back in 2009, and since then has made themselves an interesting specimen for the whole Progressive Metalcore scene. While bands are trying to emulate the more over-the-top atmospheric Progressive Metalcore that acts like Betweebn the Buried and Me and The Ocean have started to create, Ruled by Reason have held back a bit on weaving a suffocatingly thick atmosphere and concentrated moreso on heavy, crushing music with a sligth touch of Progression…for the most part. And for that, it really does make the group stand out on their own in this quickly growing new style. But, does this really serve as a much needed hole in the thick ozone of the style, or a failed realization of talents and effort?

Honestly, one listen to The Dawning of Dystopia makes for a well deserved breath of fresh air. While the aforementioned bands that really pus the Progressive traits to an artistic edge aren’t bad, it’s nice to just sit back and listen to a version that doesn’t take it in such an over-the-top manner. This is one reason why The Dawning of Dystopia will be such a strong release for fans of this style. Ruled by Reason manage to keep their songs atmospheric through traditional Progressive Rock and Metalcore chords that can easily transport a listener to the mental imagery that the music helps to paint. However, it’s not overwhelming most of the time, and that’s what really works to the benefit of the band. Sure, sometimes the group can get a little out of hand on some songs with the Progressive Metal music, such as with “Look to the Stars”, a heavy and intense track that feels as if that initial idea is forced to take a backseat for the more artsy guitar chords of Progressive Metal through more then just the catchy chorus. It’s not bad, as the song really sounds good, but it honestly it just feels too much with how the band starts off the recording, and the ground work that is laid out with “We Met Destruction” and “Dr. Jekyll Sleeps Alone Tonight”.

When the band wants to really sound heavy, there’s no holding back. It doesn’t sound like an after thought to an over-extensive artistic trip or take a backseat to creative and soothing tracks that will launch the listener into a well painted plateau. Instead, Ruled by Reason just start hammering down at the listener. While the title track “The Dawning of Dystopia” is a more Progressive introduction, “We Met Destruction” tears right into the listener with a strong combination of Melodic Death and Metalcore that simply sounds and feels crushing, but not afraid to mix in some more complex Progressive elements in the guitars and drums to act as bridges, and to enhance the chorus. Granted these elements can become a little repetitive after a while, especially the use of these moments in the chorus, which seems to affect every track, but songs like “Within These Memories” manage to change the music up quite substantially without losing focus of their foundation. The song takes on a more aggressive and angry Metalcore sound driven with plenty of Intensity and Melodic Death ferocity in the guitars, and being one of the few songs that really slams away at the listener with heavy breakdowns. There are random Progressive patches throughout, but it’s just not quite as systematic as some songs can be. “Dr. jekyll Sleeps Alone Tonight” also finds the band using less Progressive features, as the song takes on more of as general Metalcore sound in the same vein as God Forbid, having the Metalcore itself set up some of the atmosphere, especially in the chorus when the more melodic aspects of the song come together to create a much lighter vibe to the song.

There’s really nothing wrong with The Dawning of Dystopia other then the issues already outlined. When the band performs music without much Progressive Metal input, the songs are great, relying on a crushing sound to the instruments, and music that is just simply heavy and intimidating. There is a nice mixture going on with plenty of these tracks, but there are times where the Progressive traits will overwhelm the music, and that’s where things start to get a little rough. It’s not bad, but the lighter Progressive atmosphere really works better for the group, so those atmospherically rich tracks like “Look to the Stars” ultimately hinder the band and feel more forced into the mix then a natural occurance. Couple that with how the blending appears throughout many songs, typically in bridges and chorus passages only, and it eventually doesn’t really capture the listener as much as when it first started. “Dorsia” is a good song in that it tries to incorporate it in a bit more with a slight subtle fashion, and it works to break the pattern the group seems to use a lot here on many songs.

But, by the end of the day, The Dawning of Dystopia proves to be a great album. Of course it has a couple hiccups along the road, but for a debut album it’s quite impressive. Ruled by Reason manage to take the Progressive Metalcore sound and ease back on it to make sure the style still has enough aggression to bare it’s teeth, but at the same time retain a little bit of that artistic integrity that works so well with the style. If the trend towards this brand of Metalcore continues on the path it’s on, then Ruled by Reason may eventually become a band that is pivotol to the progression of the style, especially if they continue to write this kind of slightly Progressive influenced Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal, showing that not all releases like this need to be so over-the-top to sound good. The Progressive Metalcore style needs this release.

01. The Dawning of Dystopia – 1:46
02. We Met Destruction – 3:51
03. Dr. Jekyll Sleeps Alone Tonight – 6:26
04. Look to the Stars – 6:40
05. Within These Memories – 7:57
06. The Last Prophecy – 5:34
07. To Rise Above – 5:18
08. Dorsia – 5:07
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Ruled by Reason
Ruled by Reason

Digital review copy of this release provided by The Execution Kollective.