Tuesday 3 June 2014

Ruins/Usnea - Split 7"

This is one of the latest releases to come from Halo of Flies (with help from Twisted Chords). It features German crust band Ruins alongside Portland, Oregon's black/doom metal band Usnea (who have recently signed with Relapse Records). I've been looking forward to checking out this split after hearing Usnea do a rendition of the Black Sabbath song, Into The Void, for the CVLT Nation "Master of Reality" compilation. Usnea released their first full-length last year via Orca Wolf Records, featuring two lowly tracks spread of thirty minutes.

German band Ruins play crust/dbeat/hardcore and also released their first full-length last year, via Twisted Chords. They recently did a Euro tour with Age of Collapse, which saw them play in Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. I've not heard too much by them, so this split is a good place to start.


1. Ruins - Discrimen
2. Usnea - Only The End Of The World

It’s Ruins that take up Side A of this split, with Discrimen. It’s curious too that they contribute the longer song, even though it’s Usnea who have their sound rooted in doom. Not that it matters though, as Ruins still produce a post-metal strewn noise, which I wasn’t expecting. The vocals sit within the mix, amongst the instrumentation which is dominated by the guitars and the wall of noise that they create. There’s also plenty of metallic riffs hidden in the song, along with shouted, semi-clean vox. Ruins create a glorious racket.

Usnea follow with Only The End Of The World, which similarly begins with a flourish of post-metal. After the clean guitar intro, they kick into a barrage of slow, winding doom, with deep growled bellows and clever lead work. It’s very harrowing and seems to get heavier as it progresses. The brutal mid-section features a long instrumental passage of thick riffs, before things seem to slow down further, as Usnea unleash some anguished, higher-pitched screams to match the abject despair in the song. It’s intense and torturous, but satisfying all the same.

Both Ruins and Usnea have put their all into these songs and even though they both only contribute one, they’ve fully justified that choice because by adding more, they would have diluted their individual styles and sounds. The 7” format is limiting in some aspects, but here both bands have pushed those limits and created something brilliant.

You can stream it courtesy of CVLT Nation here - http://www.cvltnation.com/exclusive-cvlt-nation-streaming-usnea-ruins-7-inch/.

You can grab the split from Halo of Flies here - http://www.halooffliesrecords.com/label-releases/halo70-ruins-usnea-split-7/ and from Twisted Chords here - https://www.twisted-chords.de/mod/artikel/6129/Ruins.

Twisted Chords Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/twistedchords

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