Review: “Old Stardust, Love, and Chaos” by Juliet Ruin

Edmonton, capital of Canada’s Alberta province, sits on the North Saskatchewan River and is home to Juliet Ruin. Comprising Kent Geislinger with Guitars and Vocals, Jesse Bauman with Drums, Jess Ruin with Lead Vocals, Wesley Rands with Guitars and Cody Reid with Bass and Backing Vocals, the band have dabbled with low tuned 7 string guitars in the making of this new album in an attempt to create an original sound chock full of catchy hooks and convey a fresh and emotive feel to their heavy music. So have they turned Lead into Gold? Has the pressure created a Diamond? Wait. Wasn’t that statement used in the Wage War review? Er…

…the follow up to their 2017 EP starts with “Simple Wars” which after a 37 second tapping section rolls neatly into a Groove Metal riff. The shock factor, if you haven’t heard anything by the band comes from the vocals. Lzzy Hale esq cleans are punctuated by Tatiana Shmaylyuk Growls to create the polar opposite of voices with little in between. It’s funny really because it doesn’t need the growls on this cut as good as they are. Pre-album single “Spite” that features a Sprite logo is also reminiscent of “Cloud Factory” era Jinjer with a excellent vocal range on show. Blending riffs seamlessly with gravity defying leaps between sub-genres from classic Metal to Hard Rock to Metalcore, it’s a nice twist on the conventional approach. “Violent Hands” is a stompy track with a couple of face melting solo moments lead flourishes that add polish and showmanship to the material. There are a few moments where you can picture the band taking a section and then pro-actively making it heavier in their writing process, such is the classic Metal root of their sound. Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam D would be proud of the riffs in “Details Kill”, it’s classic Thrash leanings changing things up a notch while closing each line with a couple of unclean words adds a vicious Wolf bite, the scream of “To Run” into the solo followed by “These details kill” as it breaks out is a real moment.

The bass heavy introduction of the melodic “Fight to Win” brings to a close the first half off the album but it’s a false dawn as after 53 seconds the Groove Metal kicks in with a guttural roar. Though a funky OTEP esq spoken word rap does seem a little bit out of place on the first couple of spins it becomes part of the charm after a couple of spins. “Seasons” chugs like a mid career Shadows Fall tune with a decent step in the riff turn around. A decent sense of melody runs through the core of the track so you have a blend of the headbangable coupled with the sing-a-long moments within the one cut. Galloping in like a wild horse with some interesting change ups from kit man Jesse Bauman “With Only Rage” has the essence of Megadeth at its heart. A choice solo is the highlight of this cut before it breaks into a moment of bass solo.

Jess Ruin’s vocals take on something of a Tarrie B of My Ruin quality on “Charlatan” which has a well worked call and response vocal between the clean and unclean. Mixing the male and female uncleans in the patterning makes for an interesting mix, as does a surprisingly Jazzy breakdown. “Stay Gold” maybe a song title that suggests a melodic track but instead it’s more of the core sound of Juliet Ruin with the line “ignorance for f***ing days” appearing as the only use of profanity on the album. Adding in a gang chant vocal section adds a solid foundation to a decent tune. The album title track “Old Stardust, Love and Chaos” has a military marching drum pattern with an aching melodic guitar tone akin to the Black Album era Metallica but with some beautiful vocals. Stepping into a heavier prize fighter sparring session mid song, while it’s a powerhouse of a tune it’s not clear why it’s the title track. As a slower and perhaps more heartfelt number it is a fine place to end a solid listen with some impressive and beautiful vocals matching off some decent riffs [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Simple Wars
  2. Spite
  3. Violent Hands
  4. Details Kill
  5. Fight to Win
  6. Seasons
  7. With Only Rage
  8. Charlatan
  9. Stay Gold
  10. Old Stardust, Love and Chaos

“Old Stardust, Love and Chaos” by Juliet Ruin is out now

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