» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Age of Ruin
The Tides of Tragedy
Eulogy Recordings

Rating: 7/10 ?

October 1, 2004

Well, I've got to give Age of Ruin their due. The Tides of Tragedy rolls a little bit of everything a metal fan could want into one neat album. Basically, there is something here for everyone. The band uses its sophomore effort to step away from their signature Scandinavian style metal and introduce some metalcore sounds into the fray.

This change in direction may be due, in part, to Age of Ruin parting ways with vocalist Derrick Kozerka and picking up with Ben Swan. Swan's vocal range sets much of the mood on The Tides of Tragedy as it swings from Boysetsfire shouts to a Coalesce-esc growl. Swan's performance is mixed deep into the guitar assault here, however, it doesn't get lost at any point during the album, Swan belts out his part.

However, it's the guitars on The Tides of Tragedy that truly take center stage. Ken Oldam mixes them above everything else; this is where Age of Ruin does most of their damage, melding melodic death metal flourishes with brutal power chords. Running their guitars through a classic, broad sounding slick distortion with a double axe attack, Age of Ruin creates a rich textured which is perfect for their death metal sound. This doesn't take away from the punch of the metalcore riffs they through down between melodic interludes; Age of Ruin still hammers away with a-melodic aggression.

Age of Ruin's furious attack only lets up once during the fifty four minute run time of Tides of Tragedy, for the slower track "Serengeti" nestled nicely in its middle. Otherwise, it pounds along with double bass as clipping speed. The combination of Swan's growl and Oldam mixing the vocals neatly into the guitar madness makes it hard to discern lyrics; handily, the insert includes lyrics, and Swan's work is standard metal fare, mixing loss, misunderstanding, aggression and violent imagery.

With the rise of metalcore ultimately leading to a diluted talent poor of metal musicians - and there are precious few quality U.S. death metal bands - it is refreshing to hear Age of Ruin put a quality spin on the two sub-genres and create an excellent album. Age of Ruin is offering the open minded metal fan a combination of styles that work together well. Everyone that has been turned off by metal bands incorporating emo undertones will rejoice, Age of Ruin is the answer to dumbed-down radio metal.

Reviewed by Craig Mertes
Craig lives, works and listens to music in the general vicinity of Orlando, Florida, where he absorbs everything from hip-hop to indie, pop, rock, punk and metal. His all time favs include Hum, Clutch, Dismemberment Plan, and the Reverend Horton Heat. The last we heard, Craig was spinning Vast Aire, Soul Position, Blues Explosion, Motörhead, the Blood Brothers and Dead Meadow. Craig is also a life-long, die-hard Cubs fan, so lay off.

See other reviews by Craig Mertes



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