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Voices of Ruin - Path to Immortality - 80%

Livingwave17, May 29th, 2020

Ontario USA’s Voices of Ruin is another band that doesn’t seem to be rushing anywhere. Active since 2006 (under the “Oblivion” name until 2008), the band has recently outputted the third full length effort Path to Immortality, five years away from their previous record. Playing on the more melodic end of the death metal spectrum and with a noticeable heavy metal influence, the band is staying accessible in sound and not pushing any unprecedented extremes. Yet describing their sound as < <> should indicate that the quintet will play well in the average metalhead’s books.

The songs on “Path to Immortality” rely on highly interactive guitar interplay with catchy rhythm sections complemented by well fitted lead sections sprinkled into every corner where a melodic idea may fit. This shows Voices of Ruin’s skill to seamlessly combine the melodic and heavy sides of their music in harmony. Solos are a particular highlight, often bringing harmonized ideas and a great dynamic flow. Riffs are very rhythmic, quite straightforward, infectious and headbang-friendly all the way, also keeping a melodic component present, due to the classic heavy metal tinge, at times reminding of Iron Maiden. There’s consistent use of chugging, power chords and faster ideas resulting in galloping runs alternating with more groovy ideas, giving the songs an engaging dynamic. The instrumental “Into the Aether” and “The Undoing” are some of the stronger tracks in that direction. Clean parts are also quite a few, not appearing very often and hence being quite a lot more striking when they do show up. The clean guitar sound has a dark ominous feel, sounding somewhat mysterious and with a slight air of tragedy and sadness. “Reach Toward the Sky” is a piece where the clean parts come to contrasts with faster riff driven stuff which are some of the more high-octane to be found on the record, definitely making a stand-out from the pack.

Vocals are quite gritty, bringing the more extreme end of the band's sound, but still playing nicely into the picture. The drum patterns are mostly functional, not too technical and not flashing out, but providing consistent foundation for the riffs and melodies to unfold. The bass lines however make a few stand-outs, again not many which works for more impact when the low end comes to the forefront, usually along the clean guitar sections. The album’s intro in particular is a very inspired little piece with ominous melodies complemented by smooth flowing prominent bass as well as in the bridge of the aforementioned “Reach Toward the Sky”. Another reason why the bass can be heard pretty much all the time is the high-quality production. Logan Mader (Machine Head, Once Human) was in charge of tweaking the nobs to squeeze all the quality possible out of the music. As a result, despite showcasing a lot of classic influences the record sounds fairly modern, which offers a familiar listening experience that is refreshing at the same time.

Definitely an easier pill to swallow for those not familiarized with the most extreme ends of the metal world, “Path to Immortality” is a record that plays well on the lines of melodies and accessibility, with loads of inspired ideas. As a result, it may also suffer for some filler, but overall it’s pretty consistent and delivers on all fronts. One thing’s certain, you can get into it right off the bat. The record is available now through Bandcamp and M-Theory Audio.

Enjoy!

Originally written for The Metal Observer: http://www.metal-observer.com/3.o/review/voices-of-ruin-path-to-immortality/