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Announce The Apocalypse - Ruins - 90%

Edmund Sackbauer, August 21st, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, More Hate Productions (Bandcamp)

The world needs another Old School Thrash Metal record right? Right? Ok maybe this is not necessarily true but in case we are talking about a solid slab of pure 80s Bay Area presented in a (not too much) modernized sound production and with solid songwriting I guess there are a few fans that won’t say no. This is really traditional stuff so anyone looking for trendy music will not become happy with “Ruins”.

Announce The Apocalypse is a band hailing from Detroit worshipping at the altar of such prominent names as Forbidden, Exodus or Testament. However, while the influences are pretty obvious ATA manage to put their own DNA into the sound. The basis riffs are more or less the same we have known for years but here they are varied throughout each single song. For a style as “simple” and straightforward as Thrash the various songs come across as quite diverse. Often there are short solo sections complementing the basic structure of the respective song to stay interesting. Some of the leads have a very traditional NWOBHM feel to them which is a nice detail.

There are also longer solo parts where a certain theme is presented and then manipulated often to return later in the song again. The bass is perfectly audible and not buried in the mix and also plays an important role for the overall sound. The same can be said about the drumming offering a great mixture of fast and intense moments and more groovy and laid-back parts. The final piece of the puzzle is singer Damien Rage perfectly fitting into the picture with his raspy delivery. He sounds pretty pissed most of the time belting out memorable refrains.

The production is powerful but does not sound too sterile. A certain rawness and grit has been kept to give the music the dirt that is needed. One of my most favorite songs here has to be the over 8 minutes long “World’s Throne” where ATA show all their strength ranging from an atmospheric instrumental opening section to great hooks and leads. Generally speaking the songwriting on “Ruins” is more than solid blending the single elements into some really great tracks.

The cover artwork is great as well rounding off a great record for anyone who still has a place in his collection for another classic Thrash Metal record.