Monday 14 April 2014

Lie In Ruins - Towards Divine Death (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 4/2/2014
Label : Dark Descent Records

Towards Divine Death, album track listing :

1). Endless Void 06:19
2). Charred Walls 07:56
3). Blood of the Dead 08:20
4). The Jaws of the Wolf 08:42
5). I Am the Dark 07:14
6). Sacrum Vitae 07:25
7)  Venomous Tongues 05:14
8). Beneath the Surfaces 09:29
9). Of Darkness and Blackened Fire 11:01

Bio :

The Band :

Jussi V. | Bass
Tuomas K. | Guitars
Aki K. | Drums
Roni S. | Vocals
Roni A. | Guitars

Review :

This is more like it! You spend ages waiting for a new album to punch you hard in the face... and finally it happens. Finland. Death Metal. Blackened elements. A sludgy guitar sound. Toward Divine Death is a fantastic album. From the beginning of Endless Void you could be forgiven for expecting a sludge-fest, but the band ups the brutality, not to mention the old school production values, and strikes off for some very deep waters indeed. Do not think that this is anything like Cannibal Corpse, Obituary et al on the other side of the pond... nor should you expect Dismember or Entombed. The band has their own sound- death metal, but not perhaps as you would normally describe it. Think about the fact that Dissection were a black metal band but not in the typical way and you have a frame of reference.

Charred Walls is fast and murky at the same time. The vocals are low in pitch and mix while the overall sound is feral and reverbed to the max. Blood of The Dead is progressive in scope, melancholic and brutal, with enough spite to nestle within the death metal spectrum, but somewhat to the left of centre! The band take in sludge and doom here along with an atmosphere that would not be out of place on the oldest of old school black metal releases.

The Jaws of The Wolf is pacey and nastily delivered. The riffs are blackened death, for sure, the vocals still incomprehensible. There are drops in tempo (more than one pace here) and reliably fast drums that keep the track rolling along. I Am The Dark takes you over the half way mark with more brutal riffs and epic track length. There is an atmosphere that the more unpleasant writers of fantasy novels conjure up well- malevolence and darkness (appropriately) combining with unpleasant results. Good solo section too. 

Sacrum Vitae runs the gamut of tempos and changes to great effect, while the band play ably with the foot on or off the gas. Venomous Tongues offers up an opening riff that Carcass might have been proud to write back in the day and the track tumbles along at traditional death metal tempo at first. The beats get quicker, of course, while the atmosphere of unpleasantness remains. The over arching effect is one of cascading hate!

Beneath The Surface breaks the nine minute barrier and in doing so widens the scope even further with sludge riffs meeting death metal tempos in a black metal style- does that make sense? There is room for more swinging tempos here, too, along with the more traditional fast/slow combination.

Of Darkness And Blackened Fire nearly touches eleven minutes- the song titles alone should indicate to you that this is not standard death metal by any means. The lead breaks are eerily distant while the overall murk of the production succeeds in making the record possess depth and swathes of atmosphere.

Quite simply, this is extreme metal of the highest standard. Bleak, impenetrable at times and with that intangible quality of seething aggression and hatred lurking just beneath the surface. It took me a while to get around to listening to this- I implore you to not make the same mistake. 

Words by : Richard Maw

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