Ruins - Cauldron
Debemur Morti Productions
Progressive Black Metal
7 songs (40:06)
Release year: 2009
Ruins, Debemur Morti Productions
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from the small Australian island of Tasmania and featuring Psycroptic sticksman Dave Haley on drums, Ruins play a wonderfully intense form of Black Metal that here, on their second album Cauldron, is now finally made available to the wider world through Debemur Morti Productions. Combining dissonant guitar riffs with some magnificent drumming, the music weaves its own original path through dark forests and evil mountains. I heard hints of Darkthrone and Celtic Frost, there’s clearly some influence from Mayhem in the vocal department and guitar work, and in the development of melody the hand of Satyricon has been at work (the Norwegian duo hand-picked Ruins as support for their first Australian tour) but for the most part Ruins stand alone in their interpretation of Black Metal, and Cauldron is all the stronger for it.

Interestingly, thanks mostly to the drumming, sections of the album are catchy, the opening to the title track one example in its almost tribal rhythms and build-up to furious grandeur. Where Time Is Left Behind (Echoes Of Ghosts) touches on classic Death Metal territory, being eminently memorable, and Hanged After Being Blinded is practically headbangable. Elements of all sorts of genres, from Rock to Jazz, are subtly woven through, and so whilst the likes of Genesis may start off sounding particularly Black Metal, they soon change – the Progressive elements in Ruins’ sound are obvious. Forgive me for repeating myself, but once again, the drumming on the album must be praised – Haley has put in a wonderful performance, the likes of Suicidal Pulse enhanced beyond measure by his intelligent assault.

Atmospherically, this is excellent, too. Just as with Psycroptic, Ruins have a claustrophobic heaviness to them, but of a completely different type; the former assault you from all sides, whilst the latter puts up an overbearing frontal attack than crushes you without mercy, often almost Doom-y in nature. The dread that Cauldron suggests comes from the guitars rather than the vocals, atonal drones that hang in the air before twisting and changing into new forms. Although it’s not the most enveloping and arresting Black Metal out there, this is still laden with sonic presence, and is immediately gripping. Let’s ignore the music’s kvltness for once; this is fully recommended for all devotees of darkness, whether experienced or newcomer, and is far too good to leave to the bogans.

Killing Songs :
Where Time Is Left Behind (Echoes Of Ghosts), Threshold Forms, Upon These Skeletons (Bury The Dead), Suicidal Pulse
Goat quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Ruins that we have reviewed:
Ruins - Place of No Pity reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Ruins - Front The Final Foes reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
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