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Australian Horde Ruins, ok, duo as the band consists (in the studio) of David Haley on drums (Psycroptic) and Alex Pope of Evil Dead doing everything else including the vocals are labeled as black metal. But rather than being tagged by this generic trademark, the band are not merely a Norwegian or Swedish wannabe band.
Not one bit, it is fair to say that they take a pinch of Norway and a lot of Celtic Frost (vocally especially) and mix it up with the death metal drumming teachings laid down by other projects they are involved in. Death metal drumming? Listen to the fills and double bass work, its much more complex in its craft than the majority of simple black metal rhythms out there that are however present on the ‘The Sum Of Your Loss’ and a blistering track called ‘Cult Rapture’. Mid-paced and effortless is the general consensus of this album; I would consider black/extreme metal equivalents being Old (Ger), Helheim, Immortal and a fair bit of latter day Satyricon (I really did not want to use this comparison as this band must be forlorn by this remark, apologies, but it’s the easiest way to put across my thoughts!). Each track is crafted well and is crisp in its sound, cold as frozen wastelands but enough quality to distinguish it from the Necro/Kvlt teachings of the black metal fraternity, whatever that may be or whatever trend it’s currently bestowing. ‘Annihilate’ is a ferocious track, taking the faster pace of pre-hibernation Immortal, that vocal rasp is still camped in Switzerland, but man, this is really good stuff.
All in all, this release makes it very high in my estimation, an outsider to the blacker side of metal would relish these sounds and it is a perfect access platform to the nastier stuff this genre produces. Ruins are great band, ‘Front the Final Foes’ is a great album, overall a controlled behemoth of grim, cold aggression and subtle pieces of magic within the darkness.
Written for www.brutalism.com