Bleak. Unrelenting. Unremitting. Heavy. All four of these adjectives could be used perfectly well anywhere you choose to describe the aural soundscape anywhere you drop the needle on PonP, such is it’s well, unrelentingly bleak, unremitting heaviness actually… Tasmania’s Ruins, already on their fourth album and well into their stride and comprising, as if you didn’t know, of the Psycroptic Haley Brothers Joe and Dave, Alex Pope and Kai Summers, continue to bring the noise in fine style here, successfully channelling the spirits of Azagthoth and Fischer to create a febrile, dirty mass of seething riffage that, when it really hits the spot (as it does on the monstrous Winters Will, or the splendid Death Lends the Ultimate Touch) is as good as anything of its kind you’ll hear anywhere in the World this year.
Diehards – and there are many - might tell you it ain’t as vital as Ruins’ third release, Cauldron, but that’s to deny the band’s undoubted progression since that epic release. Like their close musical relatives The Levitation Hex, Ruins successfully harness the harshness of black metal to the (and I mean this nicely) tunefulness of old school thrash and death metal with a hypnotic, chiming resonance that’s hard to resist. TLH are more psyche-minded that’s for sure; Ruins never caress if they’re able to stove your head in instead, but the overall effect is the same – gloriously progressive, deliriously heavy, and definitely essential. Buy this record.