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Within the Ruins: Halfway Human

We've been following the career of Massachusetts metal act Within the Ruins pretty closely since their 2009 debut Creatures, and it's been great to watch their progression from album to album and seeing their songwriting & instrumental skills mature with each release. Here we are in 2017 and their brand new album Halfway Human is upon us, another example of just how talented this band is and why they are on the cusp of possible greatness. Once again dabbling in technical/progressive extreme metal as well as groove laden djent, Within the Ruins have crafted a collection of songs here that are instantly memorable, thanks to some excellent mixing of vocal styles (growls, shouts, screams, and clean), catchy melodies, pummeling riffs & rhythms, and highly technical arrangements. Love the way they drop in crazy little technical guitar fills? Plenty of that here, especially on "Beautiful Agony", a trippy mix of futuristic metal, industrial, and prog. How about their ability to blend brutal hardcore with technical death metal and melodic prog? Well, don't miss "Death of the Rockstar" or "Shape-Shifter", both great examples of jaw dropping musicality and busy yet rewarding arranging. While some might say that there's TOO much going on within some of these songs, at no point do the arrangements scream 'busy for busy's sake' as an excuse to throw in aimless shredding. It all makes perfect sense. "Incomplete Harmony" starts off as a wild excursion into acrobatic death metal before a chilling atmospheric section leads into some pummeling hardcore, while the memorable "Objective Reality" has a great hook driven home by growling/clean vocal battles and blazing guitar lines. If it's the wild, intricate progressive metal you crave from the band, look for plenty of that here, especially "Absolution", "Ivory Tower", and the incredible instrumental "Ataxia IV", all examples of face melting virtuosity, but don't miss out on the monstrous stomp of the Meshuggah influenced crushers "Sky Splitter" and "Threadstone", two tracks with a wealth of bottom end to go along with complex time signatures.

Jam packed with superhuman guitar work, insane drumming, effective vocals, and memorable songs, Halfway Human is a mesmerizing, exciting ride from start to finish. If you have yet to dive into the music of Within the Ruins, now is the time and here is your starting point.

Track Listing

  1. Shape-Shifter
  2. Death of the Rockstar
  3. Beautiful Agony
  4. Incomplete Harmony
  5. Bittersweet
  6. Objective Reality
  7. Absolution
  8. Ivory Tower
  9. Sky Splitter
  10. Ataxia IV
  11. Treadstone

Added: February 11th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2129
Language: english

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