(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by the Swiss band Voice of Ruin, which is set for release on September 27th by Tenacity Music.)
Voice Of Ruin is a band that I get A LOT of promo and PR-related material about in my NCS inbox, and have since the band came about in 2014. I’ve, like, SORT of listened to these guys? But have never given them much of a chance because I’ve been confused by the references to melodic death metal, black metal, thrash metal, and metalcore, all of which have been attached to their name.
However, after receiving a promo for the band’s upcoming record Acheron, I decided why the fuck not, I’m going to sit down and really take in an album from these guys for the first time.
So what does Voice Of Ruin do exactly? Well… I can see where the genre confusion I’ve seen attached to them comes from, but I now think that comes from looking at the music in a shallow way. This is obviously a metalcore band, but it’s an old school one rooted in that old blend of New York hardcore, melodic death metal, and Bay Area thrash. The black metal insinuations come from certain chord based inclinations on the guitar front, but black metal isn’t at all a factor into their formula; they’re simply using a style of riff associated with it, and then some people hit these guys with a broad brush.
I’m really reaching into the obscure depths of metal knowledge here, but who these guys really remind me of are the now-defunct but maybe not (Metal Archives says they are still active despite not releasing an album since 2005, and social media suggests they play shows locally) Cannae from Boston, a personal favorite of mine in this style.
Not that I think Voice Of Ruin is inspired by Cannae, or even knows who they are, but the band are definitely filling a void of a band that for me has been sorely long missed, and channelling the spirit of them to a significant degree. The result is some pretty masterfully written old school metalcore, delivered with the same intensity and conviction as anything written by Himsa, Dead To Fall, or God Forbid back in the day.
Now mind you, I know some people who regularly visit this site may think, “Metalcore?! Gross!”, but I’d wager that if you think that, you weren’t adequately exposed to the first wave of this style. I quantify it as essentially melodic death metal’s melody mixed with thrash’s technicality and hardcore punk’s energy and punishing aggro beatdowns.
Right out the gate, opener “Thanatophobia” is an impressive array of riffs, melodies, and grooves presented in a morose-sounding package, but the band ratchet things up immediately after with the majestic “Rotting Crows”, a straight classic-style melodic death metal song mixed in with the hardcore sense of heft during its groove breaks.
Acheron is a pretty diverse tome of melodic metallic savagery. With groovy monolithic tunes like the album’s first single “Mass Grave”, the thrash-y double-bass blackened bulldozer of “One Way Overdose”, and the intricate riff-brimmed powerhouse closer “Blessed Be The Fruit” in the mix, I like what Voice Of Ruin do quite a bit.
I not only recommend Acheron, but Voice Of Ruin as a whole. These guys hit a metallic note that, at least for me, is sorely missed.