Thursday 9 July 2020

Voices Of Ruin - Path To Immortality

Labels: M-Theory Audio
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 15 May 2020


 1. Other Side
2. Carved Out
3. Path To Immortality
4. Suffering Silence
5. Reach Toward The Sky
6. I Am God
7. Into The Aether
8. Whispers
9. The Undoing
10. Everlong (Foo Fighters Cover)

Energy is amazing, whether it's physical or mental. Energy is exactly what I'm hoping for from the new record by Californian melodic death metallers Voices Of Ruin. Having formed in 2006 under the name Oblivion, they released two full-lengths and a split cd with fellow Californian's Darkale, before joining US label M-Theory Audio and unleashing their third full-length Path To Immortality in May of this year. The album was produced by Logan Mader of Machine Head/Soulfly, while that awesome cover art was designed by Par Olofsson, who has provided art for the likes off Exodus and Revocation amongst others. 

I’ve been eager to sit and get lost in some heavy music all day. Voices Of Ruin caught my eye thanks to the striking sci-fi inspired artwork on Path To Immortality and after the instrumental intro of ‘Other Side’, the quintet’s death metal rages forth on ‘Carved Out’. This is modern melodic death metal with a heap of thrash and really strong musicianship. The production/mixing/mastering is clear and it really draws out the melody here. This is perfect for those who love guitar harmonies and epic solos.

There are elements of the melodIc Swe-death of bands like Dark Tranquility and (earlier) In Flames on title-track ‘Path To Immortality’ but the low growls that sit on top are menacing to say the least. They’re not br00tal though, so don’t worry about any pig-squeals or anything, they’re perfectly delivered and compliment the instrumentation. This is so infectious and it’s only made more so by the opening bars of the thrashing beast ‘Suffering Silence’ . The modern twin-guitars that fill the space left by the blasting drums make it such an enjoyable listen and if you’re not head-banging to it by the two minute mark, then there’s something wrong with you.

This is a pretty fast-paced album and before you know it ‘Reach Toward The Sky’ is closing out the first half with yet more intense musicianship. It strikes me that there’s more than a hint of Unearth flowing through this, which is no bad thing. I say that because Path To Immortality contains the same kind of chops that attracted me to the whole New Wave Of American Heavy Metal scene back in the day. It’s really well put together and while it’s nothing new, it doesn’t need to be. Voices Of Ruin absolutely nails it with incredible melodic death metal and that’s all that matters. 

‘I Am God’ was the only single the band released prior to the album launch and it’s certainly a decent stand-alone song. It’s got all of the elements that make up a single if a band is looking to promote a new release and it’s strong, but it’s perhaps not the strongest song on the record, which may have been a deliberate ploy. Either way, that’s my opinion and you know what they say about those!

Voices Of Ruin throw in something less blasting and more mid-paced on ‘Into The Aether’, which is a brilliantly placed instrumental with differing tempos and plenty of dramatic guitar work. It’s so good. Following it is ‘Whispers’, which could be considered progressive at nearly eight minutes in length but is actually just an extended thrashing beast. If you’ve been yearning for some proper metal then this will fill even the biggest hole.

As penultimate songs go, ‘The Undoing’ keeps the fire burning thanks to a real mix of straight-forward death metal and generous lead work that pushes the record to higher echelons while retaining it’s core strengths and makes them greater. The album’s closer is a cover of ‘Everlong’ by Foo Fighters. Hearing it in a death metal setting is bizarre but it actually works pretty damn well, even if it is a bit gimmicky. It does show that Voices Of Ruin don’t take themselves too seriously and that they’re very adept at making songs their own, as this is the only extreme metal version of it that I’ve ever heard. 

Overall this is an extremely impressive album and Voices Of Ruin deserve so much credit. The heavy music scene occasionally needs a shot in the arm because it gets a bit clogged up with bands that crossover too many genres or are too experimental. It needs bands that just play proper metal and Voices Of Ruin do that. Get your ears around this.

You can stream and buy physical copies of Path To Immortality here:-

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