Within the Ruins
Phenomena


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (74 Reviews)
July 22nd, 2014 | 445 replies


Release Date: 07/22/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Metalcore and the sum of its parts

Metalcore has gone through some strange twists and turns as a genre. Not only does it have a scope of bands ranging from the raw Integrity to the fashionable The Devil Wears Prada, but over the years it has latched itself on to other subgenres such as math rock, creating the form of technical hardcore á la The Dillinger Escape Plan, and even to death metal which went on to form the less-than-stellar subgenre, deathcore. But the purpose of this review isn’t to express my disgust about deathcore, nor about what the caricature of metalcore has become. Rather, I want explain what Within the Ruins managed to achieve on this album – a well-established amalgamation of every evolution the genre has undergone, from its origins rooted in hardcore punk to the addition of thrilling technical prowess, the discordance of death metal, and even a few traits of the increasingly trendy “groove-core,” or “djent” scene (both descriptors make me dry heave) – creating not only their most interesting album to date, but also a fresh change of pace from the inspirational drought the genre has been experiencing this past decade.

Groove elements are immediately noticeable in Phenomena’s opening tracks. ‘Gods Amongst Men’ and ‘The Other’ both have moments of crushing riffs with melodious guitar leads frolicking above them. Never before have I found it appropriate to describe riffs as “frolicking,” but in this case it seems fitting. The band’s rhythm section grasps firmly onto the basal groove of any given riff, and while these “junz” are tearing us a new one on the low end, the lead guitar (often harmonized) dances above them with a robotic stop-start precision and accompanying chorus or echo effects (a good example being the quasi-breakdown in ‘Ronin’). And this isn’t only the case with the first few songs – it’s a technique used consistently throughout the album. It can be argued that it becomes a bit too formulaic, which is true to an extent. But Within the Ruins make each riff sound distinctive enough to prevent the songs from bleeding into each other, allowing them to stand out individually, each with their own unique direction and identity.

Vocalist Tim Goergen is at the top of his game here, alternating between fierce hardcore screams and rich death growls. Ironically, though, it’s the instrumental tracks that stand out the most on Phenomena. ‘Enigma’ toys with a Mario-esque motif and a jumpy haunted house theme comparable to Luigi’s mansion, and this is in addition to speedy double bass laden riffs and the song’s main groove that’s heavy enough to make your balls ache. The second instrumental is closer ‘Ataxia III’, which deviates from the norm by revolving around a triplet feel, and aptly concludes the album with an enduring melodic outro, tying the whole listening experience together with a shiny chrome bow.

Ultimately while other bands focus solely on being either highly technical, overwhelmingly melodic, or just heavy for the sake of being heavy, Within the Ruins prove that you can do all of the above and still make damn good music. Phenomena isn’t exactly the saving grace the genre needed, but it’s a fun listen for anyone looking for some fresh modern metalcore, which sadly is in short supply these days.



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user ratings (156)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Deuce8311 (3.5)
"Whatever genre YOU classify them as, Within The Ruins should be in the top tier."...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2014


21799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

stream: http://www.altpress.com/features/entry/within_the_ruins_phenomena_album_premiere

Digging: Todd Terje - It's Album Time

bloc
July 21st 2014


35024 Comments


Production on this is surprisingly killer. A huge improvement.

But still can't get into this band.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2014


3540 Comments


yo how do you hyperlink to various bands in your review? been wondering how to do that for a while

Digging: Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2014


21799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's the same format as italics and bold but instead with an L

ExplosiveOranges
July 21st 2014


3884 Comments


Will Czech out.

Digging: Millicent Waffles - Under Dark Blue Blanket

SourAK
July 21st 2014


1630 Comments


good review

branflakes911
July 21st 2014


124 Comments


Any reason to think this is anything other than typical deathcore? I've heard a couple songs and read a number of reviews, they seem to be bread and butter tech-deathcore, shiny and loud but otherwise kinda boring.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

SourAK
July 21st 2014


1630 Comments


if u don't like deathcore it's not gonna change ur opinion it's just really well executed tech dxc

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2014


21799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

my thoughts exactly^

thelastsignal
July 22nd 2014


1587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Missing an 'of' after scope in the first para. Other than that, good review man. This one is really enjoyable, and I like it more than their last one. Mindpos

Digging: The Grouch x Eligh x CunninLynguists - The Winterfire EP

climactic
July 22nd 2014


19976 Comments


highly highly doubt this is in the 4 range but will check eventually

Digging: Downfall of Gaia - Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 22nd 2014


21799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oops thanks for catching that signal. i like this more than their last two albums for sure

clim, its more like a 3.7 but i rounded up cause i really thought this was going to suck and it surprised me

someguest
July 22nd 2014


21390 Comments


"Timmy, pass the cheerios."

"Fuck you, dad!"

Digging: Pet Shop Boys - Please

snerefedsav
July 22nd 2014


852 Comments


the mario and inspector gadget sounding shit in enigma has to be intentional. couldn't they get sued for that if someone gives enough of a shit to do it?

Digging: Stolas - Allomaternal

Hawks
July 22nd 2014


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I kinda wanna check this even though I feel like it'll suck idk.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 22nd 2014


21799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i dont care for this band but this album is just really solid tech death.

i think everything they put out before this is average or slightly above

Hawks
July 22nd 2014


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'll give it a shot tomorrow, fuck it. m/

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 22nd 2014


21799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

always for the m/

ChuckyTruant
July 22nd 2014


15725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, Andrew. Really digging this band as of late.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 22nd 2014


21799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks chuck yeah this band seems right up your alley



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