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Rooms of Ruin: All Is Ended

When one thinks of Orange County, New York, one doesn't always think of quality metal bands cranking out kick ass original material. Much to my surprise along comes Rooms of Ruin, a new stoner/sludge/doom act from Middletown that is made up of former members of Cabal 34, bassist/vocalist Ken Faggio, drummer Annie Terror, and guitarist Dave Mayer, and these three are joined by lead guitarist Steve Levin, himself no stranger to the Orange County metal scene but inactive for quite some time. Together the band create some seriously heavy sounds on their debut All Is Ended, a successful mix of influences that include Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Down, and Crowbar.

If you are a band and you're dedicated to stoner/sludge/doom, well, you gotta have the riffs, and All Is Ended is chock full of 'em. Mayer and Levin lay down a wide assortment of beefy riff-o-rama on behemoth numbers like "Mindspear", "Whore of the Winds", "The Litany", and "Path of the Beam", as massive riffs and pounding rhythms shake the foundation, briefly interrrupted by Levin's scalding mix of whammy bar theatrics and wah-wah laced excursions. "A Touch of Strange" could have been a leftover from either Volume 4 or Pentagram's Review Your Choices, right on down to the crushing riffs and muddy production techniques. Faggio has the perfect vocals for this type of metal, a thick, gruff wail that's not quite a growl, bellow or scream, but rough enough to compete with the heavy arrangements and reminds me of what you'd hear on any classic Cathedral or Saint Vitus album. "King Jupiter" is a slow and evil dirge, while "Gods Drink Blood" picks up the pace a tad and chugs along in classic Sabbath fashion. Any serious metal fan will be hard pressed to not break out in some serious headbanging along with the monstrous "Language of the Unformed", and if it was even possible for the band to get any heavier, they certainly do on "Low Men", perhaps the most crushing track here and a sure fire doom classic in the making. Mayer leads the charge with some superhuman riffs, and alongside Faggio's tortured wailings and Terror's pounding drum work comes Levin's scorching leads, as the band really hits on what doom is all about. That's not all, closer "Rooms of Ruin" further cements just how seriously good these guys are at creating dark, plodding sludge.

Seriously, this band is way too good to get lost in the shuffle of the many acts that are toiling about in the sludge/stoner/doom genre. The tunes are there, the riffs are certainly there, and the playing is rock solid. Sure, the production of the CD might be the one sticking point for some (the drums mostly suffer in the mix), but All Is Ended has a certain dark & underground sounding charm to it that kind of works here. End result is, if you love doom, you have to hear this one, and let's hope for much more of this from the Rooms of Ruin camp for years to come. Now, crack open that brewsky, indulge in whatever form of recreation you prefer, and get ready for some serious headbanging!

Track Listing

  1. Whore of the Winds
  2. Mindspear
  3. Path of the Beam
  4. The Litany
  5. Todash
  6. A Touch of Strange
  7. King Jupiter
  8. Gods Drink Blood
  9. Language of the Unformed
  10. Low Men
  11. Rooms of Ruin

Added: June 8th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1935
Language: english

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