Have you ever wondered what it’s like to get a blowjob from an 80-year-old woman? Well, that’s what Within The Ruins are like. They look like they will disgust and appall you, but they will actually give you the time of your life, which is incredibly evident on their latest output, ‘Elite’.
Massachusetts has always been a breeding ground for top metal bands. All That Remains hail from Springfield, Unearth are out of Wakefield and Killswitch Engage are Westfield’s very own. Within The Ruins are a Westfield band themselves, but maybe that’s why they haven’t gained as much success as their genre mates Veil Of Maya (Illinois) and After The Burial (Minnesota). Another minor pique is that they’re an atheist band in a nation that is very much pro-Christianity.
Politics aside, Within The Ruins are like being punched square in the face by the perfectly sculpted fist of a hand model. Technical savagery is complimented by an ice cool production thanks to producer, Joshua Wickam. Tracks like ‘Solace’ are benefactors of being able to hear every single note crispy clear on Joe Cocchi‘s 7-string guitar. The tightness of Within The Ruins is quite admirable too; this is not simple music to play, but every chug and flail flows perfectly into each other.
‘Feeding Frenzy’ appears to be the main song that will make it into the live set, and that’s a pretty good shout. Now that Within The Ruins have discovered the Gojira guitar scrape, they have even more in their arsenal to provide whimsy along with Nintendo-like guitar notes at the start of ‘New Holy War’.
2010’s ‘Invade’ featured arguably WTR‘s best song, ‘Ataxia’, an instrumental tune of ridiculous catchyness that could fit on a metal Legend Of Zelda soundtrack. ‘Elite’ contains ‘Ataxia II’, which doesn’t quite stand aside its predecessor, but still provides some foot tapping, head banging capriciousness.
Stick around ’til the end of ‘Elite’, the final song is the best: ‘Dreamland’ is an instrumental (ignore the strange TV quote voiceover), but it will make you band your head more than any of its album-mates. It saunters along with swagger, smacks you between the eyes and leaves you with bruises like no-one’s business (except perhaps a famous rapper whose identity we will keep to ourselves).
‘Elite’ is an early contender for album of the year, and if you consider yourself a metalhead you’d be foolish to pass it by.
Written by MG Savage