Review Summary: Elite shows a talented band playing music far beneath their capabilities with successful results.
It’s a rarity to find a modern metalcore band with genuine talent. Nowadays it seems like the only worthwhile metalcore records are from bands that have been in the game long enough to find their own niche in the genre, leaving all the generic heavy bands to fall by the wayside. Every now and then, however, comes a band with very obvious talent playing music that is way under their level. The musicianship is there, but they haven’t quite found their niche yet to separate them from the crowd; Within the Ruins is a perfect example of such a band.
Within the Ruins play a cross between metalcore and tech death with hints of prog influence thrown around here and there. A reasonable comparison of their sound would be an Exoplanet
-era The Contortionist with a tad more technicality and a hell of a lot more breakdowns, and a bit of August Burns Red in there somewhere. Much like the case of many deathcore bands, the breakdowns are the greatest downfall of Within the Ruins. Sometimes they work, and when they do they make up arguably the best parts of the songs, such as the wonderfully placed chugging in ‘Solace.’ Unfortunately, most of the time they feel horseshoed in between technical parts to fill up space and come across as a result of flat out lazy song writing or general lack of inspiration.
As I mentioned before, Within the Ruins are one of those talented bands playing a genre of music far beneath their capabilities, yet even then their talent prominently shines through on Elite
. Instrumental track ‘Ataxia II’ is a great representation of their technical prowess with flashy guitar melodies and fun breakdowns galore. The title track and ‘I, Blaspheme’ are other track picks, but not one track on Elite
is noticeably weaker than the rest. It’s very consistent in its sound, perhaps even too consistent. ‘Ataxia II’ throws listeners a curve ball as an instrumental, but other than that it’s almost like hearing the same song over again with slight variances. This can be looked at as a good thing for people hoping for a standard proggy deathcore album, but if you’re expecting Elite
to push genre boundaries and blow your expectations out of the water, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
If nothing else, Within the Ruins created an incredibly solid deathcore album with Elite
. From beginning to end they keep it interesting through the use of background electronics or infectious guitar hooks, which is a pleasant contrast to many hardcore albums that lose their momentum after a few songs and continue blasting away for another hour. Elite
is a fun listen from beginning to end, and clocking in at 40 minutes it’s a fairly compact one at that. If you’re looking for another Jane Doe
or Calculating Infinity
you definitely won’t find it here, but for fans of metalcore looking for a solid listen from beginning to end, Elite
may prove to be worth your time.
- New Holy War
- Ataxia II
- I, Blaspheme