Sound — 9
I'd keep a sharp eye on this band if I were you, because I can definitely see these guys climbing near the peak of the ever-expanding metal mountain. Fresh from Victory Records, Creature remains to be an amazing musical expereince everytime I listen to it. Although I can't quite place it, there is something unique about their approach to technical music that leaves the listener strangely satisfied. A lot of bands try too hard to make their music sound interesting by throwing in awkwardly placed tempo changes and weird time signatures, but in the end, it just sounds forced and uninspired. Within The Ruins manages to navigate this tightrope of organized chaos quite expertly and the progressive elements of their music work with the intense breakdowns instead of against them. They are no slouches when it comes to playing their instruments, either. The band dedicates countless hours each week to practicing. "You do it long enough and you're going to see results," says Joe Cocchi, the bands founding guitar player. "We constantly try to take our music to the next level, challenging ourselves as well as the listener." Although there are no face-melting solos to be found, the entire album remains consistent in it's high level of technicality. Each riff glides into the next one without sounding detached or misplaced. Of course, even for all of the fretboard-ferocity, the drumwork on the album is probably my favorite part. To my ears, the drumming is near flawless in composition and execution. Kevin McGuill, the man behind the tubs, lends a bit of his own personality to each and every breakdown that give it that extra little bit of badassery. I can't say too much about the basslines since I can't really hear them, but then again, I've always had trouble distinguishing the bass from the rest of the band on most metal albums, though I don't believe the sound loses anything from the lack of clarity in this particular case. They are not re-defining the genre, but they are definitely setting a good example.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics generally deal with drowning of some sort, be it literal or metaphorical. There is an overall feeling of hopelessness and dispair in the tone of the lyrics, which adds quite nicely to the music behind it. The style is quite poetic, and each line reads off the page pretty well, though at times seems a little misplaced. As for the singing, it's your standard cookie monster growls. If I had to rate the singing, all I could really say is that the growls drive the music and never take away from it. Nothing too impressive, but hey, it's death prog. What can you expect?
Overall Impression — 9
The band states that their early influences range from As I Lay Dying to even Metallica, but I don't hear it. Their music has much more in common with bands like All Shall Perish or Born Of Osiris, and even more so with Victory Record brethren, Between the Buried and Me. it's a really, really good thing when I'd rather listen to these guys than BTBAM or even Dream Theater. Most all of the songs are good but some of the more catchy ones include 'Arsenal', 'Call off the Wedding', and the title track. The double kick at the end of 'Tractor Pull' has to be heard to be believed. If this album were stolen, it wouldn't really matter since I've allready burned the CD to two different computers, to my ipod, my brothers ipod, and have several copies already made just in case another one of my friends asks for one. In a couple years, I can definitely see these guys making a name for themselves in the metal community as masters of the art.