Menace Ruine - The Die Is Cast
14 October 2009

01. One Too Many
02. This Place Of Power
03. The Die Is Cast
04. Surface Vessel
05. Dismantling
06. Utterly Destitute
07. The Bosom Of The Earth

Menace Ruine came, dropped two albums on us within the timespan of a few months, then went quiet again. Talk about guerilla tactics. Cult Of Ruins was harsh Black metal with noise and psychedelic effects, The Die Is Cast is... completely different. Well, there are a few binding elements once you know this is the same band, but if you're not aware of that you would never be able to connect the dots.

The Die Is Cast is, in short, droning Neofolk. Or something along those lines. It's a pretty strange album, to say the least. All Black metal influence has been dropped, what remains are majestic, solemn rhythms and shimmering droney psychedelics. The vocals match the instruments in their sparse appearances, sounding more like cold-hearted hymns to forgotten kings sung by blue-blooded maidens or elves... and I don't even play WoW. It's all very ethereal, untouchable and out-of-reachable. It slightly reminds me of Bloody Panda, but I must stress the word slightly, do not expect banshee-like screaming or actually any sort of screaming at all.

The Die Is Cast is an album characterized by hits and misses. "Utterly Destitute" features a crazy effect, a sound a tortured chimp would probably make. It's utilized very rhythmic and tribalistic, making it very cool. Other tracks are too 'regular' to be of any interest. Well, for a metalhead at least. This might get a lot more appreciation in the Avantgarde or Neofolk circles, though.

In conclusion, The Die Is Cast is an album that you have to hear for yourself. It's very un-metal, so it's impossible to say "If you like band x, you'll like this" simply because I don't know any bands that sound like this. Leaving all genre-tags behind, simply judging on what I hear, it's a solid seven.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Band profile: Menace Ruine
Album: The Die Is Cast


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.
More reviews by Lucas ››


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!J.O.O.E.! - 29.05.2010 at 13:11  
This is still one of my very favourite releases of '08 (the CD). Think more people should try this is out, if only for its sheer uniqueness. I think the fact it's such gentle music without being poncy would have wide appeal. Especially neo-folk junkies.

And I've just learned that they released a new album, in the same vein, this month. Happy joy joy.
Troy Killjoy - 05.04.2011 at 03:50  
Can't believe you only gave this a 7.2 Lucas. You of all people...

The atmosphere on this album alone is worth an 8 from me, but the simplicity, melancholy, beauty, what have you - it's almost a masterpiece by my account. The repetitive droning guitars juxtaposed by ethereal vocals that almost seem to hide from the foray makes for an enjoyable experience.

I agree with Joe here, this is definitely one of 2008's best offerings in the realm of metal.
!J.O.O.E.! - 05.04.2011 at 04:18  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.04.2011 at 03:50

Can't believe you only gave this a 7.2 Lucas. You of all people...


I say we kill it with fire.
Marcus - 12.02.2012 at 21:43  
Got around to listening to this recently; I gotta say it's one of the most addicting pieces I've heard in a LONG time. Great stuff. I'm also glad they avoided the run-of-the-mill industrial/electronic aspects a lot of neofolk acts like to use.
IronAngel - 29.05.2012 at 17:50  
For whatever unacceptable reason, I only now heard this for the first time. Oh my fucking god. This is so good. It sounds like so many familiar artists, and none of them: vocally it's Nico all the way (who also happens to be one of the first pop artists to incorporate droney organs in her groundbreaking gothic/darkwave), with some hints of Dead Can Dance, while the beautiful, shimmering drone walls immediately bring to mind Nadja or The Angelic Process. I was expecting to like the album when I read about it, but didn't expect it'd hit me this hard.

I guess there's some neofolk here (which is close to gothic and darkwave anyhow), but I don't hear it so clearly as to label as primarily a (droney) neofolk album. But who cares, this is amazing.

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