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Soaring High in Deadly Melody: VOICES OF RUIN - Path To Immortality Review

The Anaheim quintet do right with a full-length of gold standard musicianship.

Photograph by Matt Zane

If you've kept a close eye on the abundance of releases week after week, you'll see that death metal is in a great place and with bands like VOICES OF RUIN carrying the torch for the modern era, it'll continue to thrive for years to come.

The band's new record Path To Immortality arrived on May 15th via M-Theory Audio and stands as a testament to the unit's remarkable work ethic. Now three full-lengths in, VOICES OF RUIN have mastered the art of bringing together touches from varied ends of metal to complete cohesion, specifically that of European melodic death metal and heavy metal. Ever wonder what a CHILDREN OF BODOM/SAINT VITUS hybrid sounds like? VOICES OF RUIN have you covered.

Album opener Other Side kicks the journey off with solemnity, easing listeners into a full-fledged assault to follow. The riff supremacy of Carved Out succeeds the opener and soars high with a blend of razor sharp fretwork and melodies, speaking to the talents within the ranks of VOICES OF RUIN. It's here where you realize that guitarists Tom Barrett and Steve Carlton came to dominate. Add an explosive drum performance by Lonnie Vanhorn, rhythmic bass grooves by Wally Myers, and blood-curling growls by frontman Dave Barrett and you have yourself a well-rounded powerhouse.

It's important to note that Path To Immortality is far more than a display of musical technicality. Varying song structures and gentle atmospheres are interweaved between the madness, keeping the record well paced with each passing track. Suffering Silence comes rushing with a galloping double bass showing while Reach Toward The Sky levels the tempo with heartfelt fretwork. Each of the two host anthemic guitar solos meant for the live stage while remaining unique in their respective, again speaking to the songwriting talents of VOICES OF RUIN.

We'd be remiss not to mention the inter-dimensional cover art that fronts the effort, courtesy of Pär Olofsson. The Swedish artist, who has illustrated covers for IMMOLATION, CULT OF LUNA, and EXODUS to name a few, captures the the commanding presence of the Barrett and Carlton guitar duo by bringing back the band's extraterrestrial mascot in leadership fashion. It's a vibrant visual that pairs well with the eclectic structures of each composition, as every album cover should. Path To Immortality doesn't just look good however; it sounds good too. Produced by Burn My Eyes-era MACHINE HEAD guitarist Logan Mader, the record feels crisp and precise, never swarming one instrument over the other.

Path To Immortality doesn't reinvent the wheel nor does it incorporate pretentious gimmicks to make VOICES OF RUIN seem relevant. It's death metal done right. That simple. This is a band who enjoy what they do as evident in the quality that yields from their camaraderie. From the electric solos of Reach Toward the Sky and I Am God to the heart on Whispers, Path To Immortality stands as a modern melodic death metal standard to strive for. Here's hoping that the band break from the five year release cycle they've followed since Into Oblivion (2010) to deliver the goods much sooner.


Path To Immortality is available now via M-Theory Audio. Get your copy HERE.

Cover art by Pär Olofsson


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