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Within the Ruins: Invade

Within the Ruins burst on the scene in 2009 with their impressive debut Creature, combining technical metal with death metal and hardcore, which we'll call technical deathcore to make things easier. Their sophomore release for Victory Records is titled Invade, and sees the US band going for more technical sounds while still retaining their extreme nature. How does it compare to the debut you ask?

Well, these guys certainly have improved in the chops department, as there's no shortage of blinding leads, intricate rhythms, and furious, stop/start arrangements. Guitar players Joe Cocchi & Jay Van Schelt are extremely capable musicians, and their wide assortment of fills, leads, riffs, and breakdowns permeate each and every track here on Invade. Equally impressive are drummer 'Drummer' (???) and bassist Mike Beaujean, while vocalist Tim Goergen lays down a wide variety of screams, growls, shouts, and bellows. Impressive on every level? Well, for the most part, yes. There are some seriously monstrous cuts here, like "Red Flagged", the complex "Versus", the dizzying "Ataxia", the near prog of "Cross Buster", and the crushing, wah-wah drenched "Roads". Those into the whole tech-death thing will be amazed by the dexterity of these musicians, but after repeated spins, the main problem is that too many of these songs, while impressive from a 'chops' perspective, just don't differentiate much from each other. There's a kind of 'samey-ness' from track to track that shows that Within the Ruins still haven't perfected their songwriting craft just yet.

A few slower pieces perhaps, where they focused more on the riffs and less on the blinding, complex leads & fills, would definitely have worked, and relying more on atmosphere at times (which they do so well on "Roads") also could have easily helped mix things up a bit. Regardless, Invade is still a fun and enjoyable technical extreme metal album, and though not quite a classic, I think this band has it in them to come up with a definitive statement in the very near future.


Track Listing
1. Designing Oblivion
2. Versus
3. Behold the Harlot
4. Red Flagged
5. Invade
6. Ataxia
7. Cross Buster
8. Feast Or Famine
9. Oath
10. The Carouser
11. Roads

Added: December 7th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 689
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Within the Ruins: Invade
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-12-07 17:52:27
My Score:

On paper, Invade has every ingredient to succeed as a modern technical death metal/metalcore release. Insanely fast drumming, shredding guitars, technical song structures, and loud vocals - the entire ordeal is here in full form. But once you start to dig beneath the surface, it's hard for me to find anything here aside from generic metal riffing, lifeless compositions, and uninspired vocals. Although the guitar acrobatics can be fun to listen to from time to time, I simply can't see anything here that's above average. The music is lifeless, and fails to move me in any way. Maybe fans of really technical and complex extreme metal will like this one, but I honestly think that you can find much better in that department. Despite all of the good things about this album (the production is great and the musicians are talented), Within the Ruins seems to be lacking one very important thing in terms of songwriting. Even after I've just heard the album, it's awfully difficult for me to even recall one melody, and that is ultimately the problem with Invade. If this band wants to really impress me with a future release, they need to hone in on their songwriting skills a bit.

Even though the compositions fail to move me in any way, there are still plenty of good things about Invade. The most obviously positive thing about the album is the incredibly technical musicianship, which is always truly impressive. Whether or not you enjoy the music, the technical proficiency of the group is unquestionable. The vocals are somewhat monotonous at times, but they are generally strong as well. As previously mentioned, the really big issue here is the lack of memorable songwriting and a distinct sound. Within the Ruins sounds almost identical to the tons of American technical metalcore bands nowadays, and that is definitely another major issue. With that said, if these guys can really work on making more memorable songs and a more unique sound, I can see these guys making a really good album in the future.

The production sounds great, and is one of the most positive things about Invade. This mix is professional, dense, and very clean.

I was pretty disappointed by Invade, despite some of its major assets. When the music seems this uninspired and generic, technical proficiency and a polished production can only help so much. If Within the Ruins takes a more original and memorable approach in the future, I can really see them succeeding in the crowded technical metalcore genre. As it stands, fans of highly technical extreme metal will probably enjoy this, but I'm not one of them. The most I can give this album is 2 stars. Despite my lukewarm feelings, I really do hope that their next effort is much more impressive - they definitely have the chops.



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