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In Ruins: Four Seasons of Grey

With their rustic, medieval logo and moody cover art, I can tell immediately that In Ruins want to get under my skin. Wrinkle it into goosebumps with their haunting melodies and make it crawl under the influence of somber refrain. And under my skin they get, the better to work my last nerve with one of the mose sour, ineffctive guitar tones ever to force it's way down my auditory canal. Sounding like a mapleneck Mexican Squier strung with rusty GHS Boomers (.008s even), J. Michael's bleating axework would sound out of place on a Neil Young album, let alone a piece that strives for the brooding simplicity of Four Seasons of Grey . The production seems to provide a fairly roomy mix, with each instrument placed to beneficial effect, only to be wasted on that infernal guitar drone and what sounds like a set of soaking wet drums. I'm not sure if the album was intentionally recorded this way to create a specific atmosphere, but the abrasive sonic textures clash big ime with the darkly soothing melodies. And it doesn't help that we've heard all this before: "...fallen angels cry/ as blood pours from the sky..."(!) It takes a mighty big set of cojones to get away with lyrics as trite as those, and the band just don't live up to the task. In halls where funereal dirge metal wins the day, In Ruins won't be playing center stage this year.

Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
Hits: 3416
Language: english

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