Voices of Ruin – Path to Immortality (M-Theory Audio)

Tuesday, 19th May 2020
Rating: 8.5/10

Carving out a following through two self-released albums in this decade, California melodic death metal act Voices of Ruin garner interest from M-Theory Audio to vault into this third album Path to Immortality. Gaining credibility through a Wacken Battle win in 2018 to play at the prestigious festival in Germany, they’ve also toured Europe with Internal Bleeding, and supported Vader on tours of the US and Japan while also organizing for six years their own domestic Ruinfest, celebrating extreme metal from their home state. Perfect timing for the stars to align, and fortunately for these listeners it’s quite evident that these gentlemen have the skills, songwriting, and proper production/execution to make their mark on the worldwide landscape.

Intertwining a mix of melodic death metal tricks with Finnish/Swedish heritage as well as some American finesse, charm, and gusto – this is a record with numerous standout moments. The guitar melodies are stellar, extremely uplifting and circular in their earworm propensities. You’ll be hard pressed to not keep the axe work of Steve Carlton and Tom Barrett out of your head on thunderous outings such as “I Am God” and In Flames-like anthem “Carved Out”. A heavier see-saw angle between low-tuned Amon Amarth-ish mid-tempo riffs and speedier, semi-blasting mechanics keeps the title track near the top of exhilarating, never disappointing run throughs – vocalist Dave Barrett glorious in his lower, raspy growls and roar that is equally clear and chill inducing. Traditional harmonies and calmer tempo activities give “Into the Aether” more Scandinavian-oriented charm, the guitar action building up in atmosphere as a three-minute instrumental that conjures up thoughts of In Flames and Metallica. Although most of the tracks hover in normal four to five-minute and change domain, the quintet stretch their epic chops a bit with “Whispers”, an almost eight-minute cut featuring a quieter midsection where calmer, clean guitars and bass provide serene textures before the next crushing double kick/melodic death section returns to obliterate the aural scenery.

Add in the outside the box remake of the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” done the death way (drummer Lonnie Van Horn changing up the main parts most through some serious snare/double kick energy) and it’s quite apparent Voice of Ruin know what they are doing. To those who believe the melodic death genre can’t gain more momentum in 2020, they haven’t heard Path to Immortality as there’s plenty to treasure and retain here.

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