ALBUM REVIEW: Within The Ruins – Black Heart

Release Date: November 27th 2020
Label: eOne


Within The Ruins‘ more turbulent period seems to be well behind them, having endured the departure of previous vocalist Tim Goergen and a horrific van crash in which all their gear was destroyed in the previous decade.

But this period will largely feel like a clean slate, with the band’s sixth studio album being the first to feature new vocalist, Steve Tinnon, and it seems that fans have nothing to fear, with the band already being renowned for their technically minded take on deathcore.

After a dramatic guitar solo lead-in for ‘Domination’, we get a dose of double-time fury and what could be described as an abundance of widdly-widdly guitars. A hulky, stomping groove is maintained throughout the verses and we get a catchy chorus, which is important to maintain.

‘Deliverance’ has a pulsating groove and stomp again, and manages to be straight down the line as well. It’s clear that Tinnon has more than settled into his new role as frontman, with some ferocious growls taking centre stage, and for the title-track, bassist Paolo Galang‘s clean vocals again spring another hook, and a well-timed breakdown with impressive kick-pedal work from drummer Kevin McGuill takes things forward.

It’s clear that, as per usual, if you were to grade this purely on technical ability it would pass the test with flying colours. The guitar lines are delivered so fast that they at times sound like synthesisers.

But, at times, it feels like this has a little too much emphasis upon those qualities, and you can tell how a lot of songs go pretty quickly. It does occasionally fall into the trappings of many records like this, where the admittedly impressive chops are a little over-emphasised. It also feels very modern-metal-101, from the songwriting to the lyrics to the production. However, this doesn’t completely overshadow a generally solid record.

‘Empty Sixed’ has a bouncy groove that is maintained for a great portion of the song’s length. There’s even a hook to be derived from a song that is instrumental all the way through, which is an impressive feat. ‘RCKLSS’ is an attempt at creating a more sombre piece, and it mostly succeeds, with an another impressive solo from Joe Cocchi. (As for the song title, though, when did it become cool to start omitting vowels?)

Even if there’s a little over-emphasis on technical ability, which makes it blend into one and may wash over some for the most part, fans will no doubt be impressed with the new offering from Within The Ruins, and this should hopefully be the start of a more stable era for the deathcore mainstays.