3 Nov 2013

Distress of Ruin - Predators Among Us [EP] (2013, Self-released)

From Joensuu, Finland, comes Distress of Ruin - A bastard child of melodic death metal origin, fused together with copious amounts of metalcore tendencies. Five man strong the Finnish band makes use of a classic lineup of two guitars, a lead vocalist and backing vocals provided by guitarist Simo, and a strong rhythm section courtesy of drummer and bassist Sami and Riku.

Distress of Ruin's first published EP "Predators Among Us" features 6 tracks of varying disposition, but the gist of their music, should you choose to lump it all together, is a mix of Scandinavian melodic death metal evident in the overly melodic guitar tunes with the added thrashy elements over a groovy rhythm section borrowed from the metalcore scene. The EP has a very distinct melancholic temperament, which is highly evident right from the start with the despondent intro "The Ocean of Perdition". We quickly change pace to a lurching groove with They Play Dead. Or rather, we don't, because the entire EP only rarely ventures beyond the mid-tempo grooves put down by the drums and the deliberate guitar.

The overall sound is highly polished and as such doesn't leave much to the imagination, which is not entirely surprising in this type of music. What I mean by this is that every aspect of Distress of Ruin is just sort of... Out there. The production is entirely immaculate, and this means that you most likely won't be making new discoveries while listening to Predators Among Us. It is something that sort of numbs down the listening experience, and it doesn't invite further delving into the details of the band's music.

Predators Among Us makes good use of the dual guitars provided by Harri and Simo, and the band as a whole work well as an ensemble - albeit in a very clinically over-polished way. But what Predators Among Us is missing is for Distress of Ruin to move beyond their gray comfort zone once in a while. The way the EP is written and put together makes it seem like the same clich├ęs over and over again. There are a few welcomed changes of scenery with the backbreaking breakdown in Deadly Nightshade, or the thrashy attitude of the closing track Harbinger of Ravage, but it is not enough to create a sufficiently varied experience. Bystander Effect has a spark of this with its faster parts which then give way to the EP's heaviest and slowest part, but it feels as though Distress of Ruin were so uncomfortable with these alternate paces that they change it back to their ordinary mood too quickly.

Distress of Ruin's first EP is a grower. At first it seems way too melodic, and the clean vocals that are continuously used in the choruses get old really quick. It might be Stockholm Syndrome, but somehow you learn to mildly appreciate the easy-to-follow structures put forth by the Finnish band. You come to expect nothing surprising from the band, and this is exactly what they deliver. But then again this isn't enough for you to put away your In Flames and Whitechapel CDs in order to listen to Distress of Ruin instead. 6/10 guitars.

1. The Ocean of Perdition
2. They Play Dead
3. Deadly Nightshade
4. Bystander Effect
5. Terminal Alteration
6. Harbinger of Ravage

Check out Distress of Ruin at Bandcamp and Facebook
Also be sure to check out Distress of Ruin's official website for a free download of their EP

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