Menace Ruine - Cult Of Ruins
11 March 2009

01. Process Of Bestialization
02. Sky As A Reversed Abyss
03. Kill The Egregore
04. They Who Enter Caves
05. Bonded By Wyrd
06. Dove Instinct
07. Atavism

One of underground Black metal's latest big-hittersis Menace Ruine, a Canadian twosome that released two albums right after each other, with only a few months inbetween.. That was halfway '08, but sluggish yours truly discovered them only a few months ago. Well, apologies and all, but at least I'm offering you this review now. Let's do things chronologically all right? So first up is Cult Of Ruins, a review for The Die Is Cast will follow. With, hopefully, less than months in between.

As said, the Canadian Menace Ruine play Black metal, but this is no ordinary Black metal. It has been dubbed "Psychedelic Black metal", but that term brings expectations of fuzzy melodies and colourful, albeit distorted, soundscapes and whatnot. Do not expect that from Cult of Ruins. "Sky As A Reversed Abyss" is a track with, granted, clean vocals near the end, but it mostly sounds like a sample of a woman in her dying tormented scream, repeated over and over again. This is caused by a weird feedback effect that I've never heard before, an effect that squeals like you wouldn't believe. But there's more to this track, for example droning, swerving riffs and frantic drumming. It's a psychotic Black metal rampage.

Cult Of Ruins is an album where melody is present but conscientious of its place, which is right among high walls of spiked and sharp-edged, droning feedback. It's as if you're listening to a melodic Black metal album, but during each track Matt Bower of Skullflower sneaks into the room and starts playing his own stuff, slowly increasing the volume until what you were originally listening to is almost inaudible. "They Who Enter Caves" is quite a failure in my opinion, the Black metal part of the equation sounds like a third-rate old Darkthrone while the feedback/noise is chaotic in the annoying sense without any atmosphere. "Bonded By Wyrd" however means we're back in business and it always surprises me how minimal the changes are compared to "They Who Enter Caves" (except for the clean vocals). A good example of how hard it can be to accomplish 'atmosphere' (still a very vague term), and it goes to show how hard it is to find an explanation for atmosphere, or lack thereof. There are more tracks on the album, but I won't spoil it any further for you.

It doesn't surprise me in the least that most of Black metal's latest uprising have all been experimental, Avant-Garde driven acts with a lot of courage to do something new with the sound. It seems the Depressive Black metal wave is over and new creativity surges through the genre. We may stand at the dawn of a new era for Black metal here. Or at least, some very good years for the genre. Either way, I'm happy. Err... grim. I'm grim. Yeah.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8

Band profile: Menace Ruine
Album: Cult Of Ruins


Written on 19.12.2009 by
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
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Clintagräm - 20.12.2009 at 04:22  
Good review Lucas. I think I made a topic about them a while back but it didn't get much response. I still think the band is pretty unique and you nailed the major points well. I really enjoy the clean female vocals and the unique use of feedback and noise. I'm no expert to either Black or Noise, but I'd say they're a breath of fresh air.
LeChron James - 20.12.2009 at 14:25  
I want.
-DC-002- - 21.12.2009 at 03:09  
Sounds absolutely Devastating
Maxx666 - 21.12.2009 at 08:18  
A very unique album, never heard anything like it before.Nice review by the way:thumbup:
Cuca Beludo - 08.06.2011 at 02:04  
Good review, i need to check then!

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