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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Within The Ruins: Creature

Year released: 2009
Official website: www.myspace.com/withintheruins
Label: Victory Records


1. The Book Of Books [3:58]

2. Arsenal [3:50]

3. Dig A Ditch [4:23]

4. Call Off The Wedding [3:38]

5. Extinguish Them [3:56]

6. Jump Ship [2:53]

7. Creature [3:31]

8. Tractor Pull [4:56]

9. Holy Mess [4:36]

10. Victory [2:16]


There is no doubt about it.

Creature, is just like what its name and its artwork is all about: A mean, teeth-gnashing, ferocious machine of aural destruction that showcases a relentless display of abstract vibrance. Its instrumentals are as colourful as its monstrously cartoonish-looking cover, and its technicality is one that rivals Skullgrid, making it undoubtedly one of the fresher metal albums I have ever come across in my fourth-running month as a music reviewer so far.

Within The Ruins, the Massachusetts band whose eccentric brilliance gave birth to this wild beast of fretboard breakdowns, insane tempos, swift guitar riffs, and good old I-don't-really-care-what-you-think-about-me attitude, probably did not have it easy in the process of producing this successful debut album of theirs.

Take a listen!: Like seriously, there isn't really a solid way of describing this.

Needless to say, WTR's members have been practising innumerable hours everyday ever since they met back at their old high school and formed the band in 2000, and it is only with such effort can any musician reach this high level of perfection of their instruments. It is a little hard to believe that their early influences came from the likes of Metallica and As I Lay Dying, because they are both generally thrash and metalcore respectively, which is a little of what WTR exhibits on this album, but yet not quite it as well. Now how do you put it, it is just like an eagle's egg mistakenly landing up in a swallow's nest, and although the infant eagle learns the ways of the swallow initially, it eventually grows big enough to consume the swallow and mutate into something different (that is not to imply that swallows have mutating effects upon consumption however, as this is just a random analogy). Yeah, basically, WTR is purely a unique band in their own right, crafting a sound that is so borderless and daring that they do not resemble anyone else and which gives them the edge in terms of experimenting with their style further in future.

Being on the front brink of progressive metalcore, WTR has so far successfully blended technicality, ferocity, death, and hardcore into a jam-packed arena of blistering aural bliss. A very interesting thing to note about their music would be that although it is metal, it does not give off the typical heavy feel. Creature, unlike most metal albums, actually skims along in an energetic fit for the whole album due to the incessant staccatos omnipresent throughout the guitars parts. This is a plus point for me, because it is the first time I am seeing such an effect being used to great texture rendering, seamlessly creating multi-layered melodies together with a seemingly unending torrent of stop-starts which is easy on the metalhead's ear (after a long day of blasting the poor eardrums with the daily diet of melo-death and thrash of course) and yet retains the gritty melodic satisfaction one can only derive from metal. It really gets me greatly anticipating what this ingenious band would come up with next. Perhaps technical black metal might be up next on their music laboratory's roster? :P

Already receiving a positive reception from live shows across America on their virgin tour which kickstarted at the beginning of this year, WTR is one band whose current inflating fan base is one you would not want to miss out on joining. Such bands whom continuously inject freshness into the quickly rusting underground metal scene deserve as much support as they can get to increase the exposure they get, and perhaps then, their producers or band manager might finally start telling them to get a better image too. Although almost individual masters of their own instruments, WTR still lacks one thing many underground American metal bands still lack today: A better image.

Seriously, there you are making kick-ass music, and yet you look like you wouldn't be out of place walking amongst ordinary Americans on some ordinary American street.



WTR ought to lose that teenage punk image by replacing their dull mushroom-head goodie boy haircuts in place of, say, a mohawk or long, braided hair? Okay, maybe they can even try out a monstrous-looking haircut like the Devil's Lock to enhance the image of their album or something. Honestly, no metalhead would ever want to have sweet memories of a kick-ass album being tainted by abysmal nightmares of a suck-ass band image.

All in all, pick up this album if it is available at your local CD store. If you have enough cash to spare for iPods, why not apportion some towards increasing the productivity capacity of good metal bands? Certainly, this is one band whose progress you would not want to be missing out on, as they are sure to continue churning out technical masterpieces that would blow you off your seat.

Hell, I want that Creature shirt!

Health Warning: This video might cause seizures or temporary paralysis, I'm not kidding, the video says so itself.

Verdict: 9.0 / 10

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