Ruinous – Graves Of Ceaseless Death

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/Label: Dark Descent Records
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Released: 2016
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Ruinous - Graves Of Ceaseless Death

Band Line-up:

Matt Medeiros – Guitar & Vocals,
Alex Bouks – Guitar,
Shawn Eldridge – Drums

Track Listing:

1. The Tombs Of Blasphemy
2. Transfixed On The Gate
3. Dragmarks
4. From Flames Of Malice Born
5. Procession Of Ceaseless Sorrows
6. Ravenous Eternal
7. Plague Maiden
8. Through Stygian Catacombs
9. Torn Forever From The Light


If one were to start a band tomorrow and determine what genre you’d opt to play, this day and age presents you with a veritable plethora of options, and not just in whichever subgenre you care to choose. “Let’s play death metal!” So is that old school or new school death metal? Technical or brutal? Both? Blackened? Blackened tech? And so on, and so on… Then there is, of course, the myriad of sounds available for your recorded masterpiece: crusty and “old school”; new and clinically clean… Spoilt for choice! So where do RUINOUS fit into all of this?

Stylistically-speaking, theirs is a touch old school, with riffs harking back to death metal’s heyday, albeit wrapped in a 21st Century production bundle that ensures everything is as clean as Fairy Liquid. “Graves Of Ceaseless Death” is chocked full of monstrous riffs, gutturals to bother the bowels and thunderous drums to pound any listener into a messy pulp by their computer (or whatever they happen to be listening on). “Transfixed On The Gate” is straight out of the fast-and-furious death metal mould, keeping things short, sweet and deadly with its breakneck pace, whilst “Procession Of Ceaseless Sorrows” stomps along like a weighty giant hefting a great slab tied about its waist. “Plague Maiden” conjures images of a rather disreputable woman wreaking havoc amidst its cacophonous riffage, yet it’s the sprawling “Through Stygian Catacombs” that takes the gold for album-highlight – doomy and positively evil; it thunders through riff after riff, with a heavy dose of nightmarish imagery to go with it.

Yet despite this, the balance of old school writing with modern production seems a little at odds with one another. Whilst modern production enables clarity (which in-turn would maximise the punch of any passage), it somewhat loses the down-to-earth fire and aggression an old school approach would garner. Subsequently, “Graves Of Ceaseless Death” can almost pass by in a blur. Become distracted for a few minutes and one can return to another song, but still be under the impression you were still on the same one your mind wandered from. Tracks can feel a little interchangeable; their order doesn’t foster a sense of flow – they are just there.

Make no mistake, RUINOUS’ debut is by no means bad – the songs are solid old school death metal (and the creaking beast that is “Through Stygian Catacombs” is well worth investing the eleven-minutes of your time for). It’s just that they’re somewhat homogenised by the conflicting songwriting/production approaches and that stymies the impact it would otherwise have. It could only be a one-listen job or a commitment to the collection, but regardless of that there will still be something for death metal fans to sink their teeth into here

Review by: Lee Carter