2015 has been a great year for metal thus far. Namely, it’s a show for all the underground acts establishing themselves as artists and grabbing attention at an international level. With platforms such as Bandcamp (honestly, thank fuck for Bandcamp…) and access to streaming services as easy to use as Youtube, bands are finding it easier to reach out, get noticed or completely ignored. Often acts are regarded as “dime a dozen”, often forgotten as the best new thing is released (I mean even the metal world goes nuts when Opeth release a non-metal album…). Unfortunately this creates an environment where great new albums are often lost under the waves of monotonous and samey acts that hit the internet in a seemingly never ending cycle. None of this helps a new fan find that brand new act that makes his or her day.
Mostly, what I’m trying to say is I’m blessed to have new music reach my inbox on a daily basis and I’m always surprised at the level some of these artists can achieve with or without the backing of a label. Fell Ruin’s ‘Devices’ showcases a decadent, murk-filled death metal album drawing on some solid stereotypes to fulfill an album with intensity, mystique while bringing in some of doom’s greater influences to deepen every theme, every riff and every steady drum passage.
But it doesn’t stop there. This one man act sounds practiced, a perfectionist working on a canvas, perfecting an atmosphere that lasts the duration of the record and despite having only four tracks, ‘Devices’ packs a lengthy punch. Being not at all too much on the listener (although your average listener could be forgiven for that oppressive, trapped feeling that comes from the speakers) each track doesn’t drag on or outstay its natural welcome. Each track holds an integral part and ultimately, the death is good. With three main tracks and a bridging track of sorts it’s a wonder just how one could fill these tracks with such depth and integrity. The album’s opener “The Climb” is a monster of a track. Clocking in at roughly ten minutes, the nodding rhythmic pace is set menacing and despite the running time, it’s not like the listener is trapped in a single place. The album moves forward at a staggering pace. If you wanted to know what the underground of metal can offer in the year 2015, Fell Ruin’s ‘Devices’ is an excellent example.
Overall there’s something to be said in the state of the metal industry in today’s age. With everything at our fingertips and seconds away in access (seriously, internet speeds these days) it’s worth the time sorting through the mundane to find something viable, memorable and actually worth the time it took to download. Fell Ruin’s ‘Devices’ is one of those albums, sift through the shit and Fell Ruin’s 2015 record will stand above the mess, ready for you deathly enjoyment.
Jeff McMullen: Bass
Rob Radtke: Guitar
August Krueger: Drums
Brian Sheehan: Vocals