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Within the Ruins: Omen

Omen is a rather interesting EP from American technical deathcore act Within the Ruins. Rather than filling the whole release with original material, the band has decided to cover two songs from artists that I wouldn't have previously associated with them - "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas and "Fight Fire With Fire" by Metallica. Interesting picks for this hyper-technical deathcore act, indeed. I'll say right off the bat that, despite their unique approach to these iconic tracks, their versions are disappointing, to say the least. The band's original compositions aren't a whole lot better, either. My biggest issue with Within the Ruins has always been their focus on technicality over good songwriting, and that's as apparent as ever on Omen. A decent purchase for fans of the band, but completely unessential for everyone else.

The music here is exactly what we've come to expect from Within the Ruins over their previous few releases. Standard "chug-chug-chug-breakdown" deathcore with a bunch of wanky guitar sections added for additional technicality. The original compositions are slightly more interesting than the unbearable version of "Carry on Wayward Son", but their take on "Fight Fire With Fire" is probably the most interesting thing here. Not by much, though - I'll take the Metallica version any day of the week. The only saving grace for Omen is the excellent musicianship - these guys are some damn good musicians, and their technical abilities are highly admirable. I just wish they would focus a bit more of that talent on writing some memorable songs...

I wasn't a big fan of Invade from last year, but Omen is a step down in quality from that album. Within the Ruins have tons of potential to become the most powerful force in the deathcore scene, but their seeming inability to write memorable songs really serves as a major setback. Fans of the band and deathcore in general may find interest in Omen, even though I can certainly think of a few deathcore albums from this year that are much more impressive. 1.5 stars are the most I can give here.

Track Listing:
1. Controller
2. Infamy
3. Carry On My Wayward Son (Kansas cover)
4. Fight Fire With Fire (Metallica cover)

Added: August 24th 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Within the Ruins Myspace
Hits: 2094
Language: english

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