Hey there, tech fiends. It's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking for even more sick bands to hear, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
This Friday, February 26th, Ominous Ruin will drop their debut album, Amidst Voices that Echo in Stone, through Willowtip Records. We've got the early album stream of it here for you today and as usual, you can read on to learn more about the band and the release or you can scroll below and immediately hit play.
As far as my experience with Ominous Ruin goes, hearing their 2015 EP, Exiled, definitely put them on my radar and a lot of other tech-death fans as well. Until tonight when I was doing my usual research ahead of today's piece did I learn that the band had dropped a standalone single called "Universal Thought Experiment" in late 2018 that would show just how far this band was capable of evolving from a place that was already pretty damn solid as is a number of years ago. The band already had my attention, but I think the scene as a whole is in for a real treat with their debut album, Amidst Voices that Echo in Stone.
Throughout the nine dense, incredibly dynamic, and varied songs that make up Amidst Voices that Echo in Stone, you can sense you're stepping into a masterful work that's been endlessly refined and re-sculpted over time. For those new to the group, Ominous Ruin continues the well-established lineage forged in the California tech-death scene that revels in both blunt force brutality and mind-boggling technicality verging on progressive death metal at times in equal measures. In particular, this release calls to mind the sound and writing style of scene legends like Severed Savior, Decrepit Birth, and Deeds of Flesh. This baseline framework, varied as it is, merges with a sort of stark and hyper-technical shredding that reminds me more of acts like Archspire and Spawn of Possession. A high level of musical skill is a given when it comes to technical death metal but actually creating memorable and impressive material in this style is always in much shorter supply and that's the main reason that Amidst Voices that Echo in Stone fucking rules.
Given the six-year span between their last EP and the present, it feels fair to share the band's take on this soon-to-be-released debut album. They shared with me that "The creation of this album was a long process, but it was important to us that we release something unique and polished, and we think it shows. It was definitely a collaborative effort; each of us brought a ton of creativity and thought into our performances, ultimately defining our sound. Furthermore, it was mixed/mastered by our own guitarist, Alex Bacey, which afforded us the opportunity to make it unique while maintaining high quality. Our aim with "Amidst Voices that Echo in Stone" was to make an album that was stimulating, musical, technical, and aggressive without being formulaic; we wanted to breathe some life back into tech death and we're proud of our efforts!" The numerous vocal guest spots from various sick vocalists along with the band tapping Fallujah drummer Andrew Baird for session drums are obviously additional highlight points on the release worth mentioning and for all of you at home to check the Bandcamp or Metal-Archives credits page for them!
There's a level of density and dark chaotic beauty to every song on Amidst Voices that Echo in Stone that flows and erupts in such extreme ways that it requires me to suggest you give this a few spins to take it all in before reaching a verdict on it. After that point, if you like it, pre-orders can be placed through Bandcamp and the Willowtip Records Website if you feel so inclined. You can also follow Ominous Ruin over on Facebook and Instagram.