Release Date: August 2014
Alt-metalcore four piece Near Ruin hail from the South East of England and have spent the past four years since the release of their debut EP ‘Rebirth’ working on building their sound and audience which has led them to this their most recent release. With a passion for music and an ethos to deliver a different take on the metalcore scene, this has seen them constantly strive to achieve something better, something that can be found on this full length.
A slight sinister build up that crashes into fast, heavy drums and huge riffs opens up the album with title track ‘No End’. This one vies for your attention from the off with screaming vocal delivered quickly and aggressively with a harshness to their sound and venom through their lyrics. That is completely juxtaposed with calmer sung lyrics in the chorus and piano keys add a little rest bite to the frantic sounds.
Guitar riffs and fast drums create the main focus of a lot of tracks on this album such as ‘Relinquish’ with its growling vocals and jumpy guitar mixed with distorted riffs giving it an air of the best of Machine Head. While ‘Into Exile’ features screeching oscillating guitar and a catchy atmosphere brought about by guitar melodies and sung rather than screamed vocals.
My favourite track on the album is ‘Apostles & Heretics’ which opens with a quick piano line before an epic riff and pounding drums come in. There’s an air of drama to that opening but when the vocals come in things become less refined and rougher around the edges. The piano remains tinkling underneath everything while violins are added halfway through regaining the sense of grandeur lost earlier. An exceptional mid-point to the album punctuating the end of the first half and the beginning of the next.
High pitched mini riffs and chugging guitars are the yin and yang of ‘Here I Stand’ which is given a mid-ground by pounding drums, crashing cymbals and harsh vocals and muffled screams bringing about an extra fuzziness to the frenzied playing and mashed together sounds.
Fluctuating electronic noises run throughout ‘Shadows of Perception’ which is another heavy track with an almost death metal edge from those screaming vocals and fast drums. Final track ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ starts with high-pitched computerisation ebbing and flowing before a heavy pre-chorus guitar, sharp vocals and slower drums that are heavy and more threatening in verses and turn into more of a steady rhythm in the chorus. The album ends on a quieter, more sombre note with tinkling piano ending everything on a more low-key and tranquil way.
This is a very good release from the band that has spent years honing their skills and music style. It is a coherent piece of work that does not only showcase their talents but the strength of some of the acts in the current UK metalcore scene.
Check out the video for their single and title track ‘No End’ below: