Review: “Path To Immortality” by Voices Of Ruin

Releasing three albums in a decade on the scene might not seem like that much but with each installment, Anaheim Californian quintet Voices Of Ruin have upped their game. This time out they have spared no expense and worked with Machine Head, Soulfy and Once Human guitarist Logan Mader (Gojira, SepticFlesh), who produced the album and gone with experienced artist Par Olofsson (Exodus, Immortal, Revocation) for the cover, both of which set that expectation level that little bit higher. The Melodic Death Metallers, who comprise Dave Barrett (vocals), Tom Barrett (lead guitar), Steve Calton (rhythm guitar), Wally Myers (bass) and Lonnie Van Horn (drums) have toured extensively in support of each of their records, winning the US edition of the battle to play at Wacken in 2018, which just adds fuel to that fire.

Before any raging Death Metal comes the melody of “Other Side“, a thoughtful introduction piece that many may have used as an interlude between a couple of heavier tracks or a bridge within a longer song, but instead acts as a pallette cleansing moment of clarity before “Carved Out” starts where you might have expected the album to. Dave Barrett’s esophagus must be lined with something pretty tough because the consistency of his unclean vocal savagery is relentless. The band make good use of some elongated instrumental passages with some more technical riffs with some bright leads that keep the momentum going nicely. Title track “Path To Immortality” builds on “Carved Out” with some beautiful tapping sections amid some epic lead parts that simply have to be heard to be believed. As as all good title tracks do, this one has a stand out moment with a brilliant solo that bursts out and blends back into the main riff perfectly. It should be clear by the time “Suffering Silence” hits that there is plenty of melody in Voices Of Ruin and while there is no space for any clean vocals, other bands may have gone that route with some of this quality material. This track has the gallop of a Metalcore cut and if it wasn’t for the Black Metal inspired kit moments could take some inspiration from Grand Rapids Michigan’s Still Remains and some of the more frenetically paced riffage is unbelievable.

Single “Reach Toward The Sky” false starts with rapid fire artillery drumming and some frantically energetic riff before a brief respite of melody seems to give the at to a track of another style. Dave Barrett unleashes a roar and some Thrash infused Death Metal riffs rip through the place like a tornado. It may not be as balls out heavy as it could be, but then it doesn’t need to be, instead powering through from an entirely different angle. Both guitars combine and duel in places creating a fine harmony and you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a Trivium record during some of the longer instrumental parts, such is the quality on show here. “I Am God” continues the cohesive ebb and flow of the record with some breakneck paced Speed Metal solo and lead riffs of high grade Semtex quality. What is also key here is the amount of creativity that both Tom Barrett and Steve Calton have in their collective lockers. The sheer volume of riffs and shredding is second to none and no two tracks cross paths. Instrumental “Into The Aether” is an interesting one, it could easily be on a film soundtrack, setting a scene with a soundscape of rich tapestry. It has an epic motion to it, building gently through a powerhouse mid section and then slowing down again to a finale of melodic beauty.

Those closing bars tie in perfectly to the melloncholic opening of “Whispers” before it steps up with a satisfying punch and the juggernaut gets going once more. There are plenty of occasions where the vocals are the harshest element of Voices Of Ruin’s sound and that is one thing that sets this band apart from the pack. The addition of some programmed elements to this cut for 20-30 second passage of more melodic riffs are perhaps unnecessary and while they don’t detract it, they don’t add anything either. “The Undoing” returns to those syncopated riffs and lights the blue touch paper with the perfect balance of the ripping vocals with their bleak depiction of life’s empty gate in a nuclear wasteland and the Melodic Death Metal riffs at breakneck speed, all combining to create a real highlight at the back end of this record… And then you have “Everlong“, a reinvented version of the Foo Fighters song in Voices Of Ruin style… It’s the least expected part of the album, a piece of jaw dropping quality that closes off an album of jaw dropping quality. It has the same melody and hook but has been bolstered in all places like a modified and injected a new life into an old favourite. [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Other Side (Instrumental)
  2. Carved Out
  3. Path To Immortality
  4. Suffering Silence
  5. Reach Toward The Sky
  6. I Am God
  7. Into The Aether (Instrumental)
  8. Whispers
  9. The Undoing
  10. Everlong (Foo Fighters cover)

Path To Immortality” by Voices Of Ruin is out now via M-Theory Audio and available over at bandcamp

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