Review: “A Hundred Voices” by Ruina

Starting out in ancient history as the solo project of multi instrumentalist and man of many bands Harvey Lake before evolving into a fully fledged band with the desire to play live,  towards the end of the winter of discontent in February 2020 Ruina unveiled their debut EP “Nemesis”. Utilizing the skills of 105mm Studios to mix and master the tracks, the release is a blistering piece of razor sharp Metallic Hardcore with a guest vocal appearance from ex-Lifetight vocalist Thomas Smith that is simply phenomenal. Over the past two years a lot has changed for Ruina, with the band unveiling some emotive singles including a cover of “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol and making the decision to take things song by song and not pigeon hole the band into a particular genre and to boldly go where the music takes them. So where does that find us with their sophomore EP “A Hundred Voices“?

The answer to that one is that Ruina have evolved into a more rounded beast, moving from a band that play Metallic Hardcore to one that is a straight Metal act, embracing the freedom to create as they wish and songs on show here have a coherence to them, fitting well together thanks to a suitably crunchy guitar tone and crisp clean drum sound that underpins everything. The first major change is that Harvey Lake’s clean vocals have improved dramatically over the past two years and he remains fearless in his willingness to use them. That has enabled the band to create songs with more texture thanks to vocal switching to suit parts within songs and explore light and shade with venomous moments of unclean cutting through some of those bold clean parts and melodies with class. As a record it feels more lyrically personal and coupled with the vocal changes make it more engaging with a certain sense of the familiar about it that makes it easy listen to and, like the best designer drugs, get hooked in seconds. The only issue to be found is the occasional American accent-isms that creep into play but thankfully they add a certain charm and grow on you with multiple listens. The second major change is one in tempo as with a few notable exceptions, like the blistering start to “Scorched Earth” that bursts out of the gate like a Black Metal behemoth before slowing to a satisfying crunch, these are more of in the vein of mid tempo crushers that bring that Metal vibe. Some purists may point to a lack of solos in this re-imagining of the Ruina sound, but what it doesn’t have in that department it makes up for with breakdowns, rhythmic change ups and oceans of groove while the hammer on and bend riffs of “Vipers Nest” are an absolute headbangers delight. On that cut Lake goes schizophrenic with multiple unclean and clean voices starting out with a real Lemmy Kilmister vibe that is just something else. Ruina remain a band on the rise and ones to watch going forward as with this, they’ve gone from a band that belongs in a sweaty club to one that can hold their own with bigger festival audences [8/10]

Track listing

  1. A Hundred Voices
  2. Vipers Nest
  3. Stronger Than I
  4. Scorched Earth (ft. Dayshifter)

A Hundred Voices” by Ruina is out 6th August 2021

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