Monday, July 20, 2015
Rooms Of Ruin - "Into The Black"
"Into The Black" is the brand new full length album from Rooms Of Ruin and is their highly anticipated, sophomore follow up to their 2012 debut "All Is Ended". This new release sees the band cut back to a 3 piece, but losing absolutely none of their heaviness in sound or grittiness in performance. From the start of the opening track "Vertical Geographies" (of which there is a very cool video you can find on Youtube!) ROR greet us with exactly what we come to expect from them, slow & low, down tuned sludge metal. The guitars build a giant wall of fuzzy sound, while the thunderous bass builds a thick, muddy bottom end, giving us the audio equivalent of the deepest and dirtiest swamps in New Orleans. While not being too polished, the production here on "Into The Black" is a bit clearer and a touch cleaner than on "All Is Ended". The drum performance from Annie Terror is captured beautifully. The cymbals ring through crisp, and the snare has the perfect amount of snap. Ken Faggio's snarling vocals also stand out in the forefront of this recording, where as in my opinion the vocals sounded a bit more laid in the background on their debut showcasing the riffs more than Ken's evil, growling vocals of doom. Every track is so groovy and catchy. Tunes like "Cross Dog", "The 13th Gate" and "Eve Of The Wolves" are full of pounding aggression. These songs call to mind a more mid tempo eyehategod or what Crowbar would sound like without all their hardcore influence, just grimy, filthy doom metal at it's finest. "Coffin Hunters" is one of my top faves here and a very interesting tune musically. This one is epic and has a very grandiose aura, giving off the feeling of what Iron Maiden and Amon Amarth would sound like if they played at 1/4th the speed. The slow galloping verse and especially the tremolo picked bridge carry a very traditional metal feeling, while never losing the doom metal tone and chunk. Picture Steve Harris jamming with St. Vitus and you'll get where I'm going with this. Speaking of Wino and co. Rooms Of Ruin give us healthy doses of that signature old school stoner metal sound with tunes like "Devil Grass" and "Demiurge". A bit more uptempo, dripping with catchy bluesy licks, verses and choruses that just straight up get stuck in your head. "Demiurge" even sees Ken's vocals get a bit guttural and more in a death metal vein. "Third Sun" is also a top favorite of mine here, this track is classic unadulterated Black Sabbath worship. Dave Mayer bends and squeezes these riffs from his guitar with a flawless, Iommi-like abandon making this tune the hulking mammoth that it is. "Change That Shapes" is a trippy venture and a bit of a mellow break from the pummeling assault ROR give us throughout this album. This song features some influences you might hear in High On Fire or Neurosis' quieter moments. A bit more reflective and hypnotic, but still very heavy in attitude and the bass rumbles along nicely here. "Endworld" closes this epic opus out in classic doom fashion. Huge chorus riffs, stomping chord crunches and a killer, almost thrashy bridge (those china cymbal hits will make you want to start a circle pit!). There is no sophomore slump here for Rooms Of Ruin, they keep their original sound and build upon it while adding some newer elements and managing to sound even heavier and tighter as a 3 piece, well-oiled machine fueled on doom and burning the sludge all the way through "Into The Black". If you are a fan of the now classic New Orleans bands like eyehategod, Down and Acid Bath, if you are one of St. Vitus' children of doom, if you ever wanted to hear Electric Wizard and Black Sabbath collaborate on a Celtic Frost cover album, then you need to check out Rooms Of Ruin. Hit them up at www.facebook.com/pages/Rooms-Of-Ruin hit the "Like" button and ask how to obtain a copy of "Into The Black" for your sludgy listening pleasure. You can also find them at www.reverbnation.com/roomsofruin and https://roomsofruin.bandcamp.com or send an email to email@example.com