Review: Near Ruin – Smoke & Mirrors


Near Ruin are a melodic metal band from Maidstone in Kent who were founded in 2006 where they ground their teeth on the local circuit, honing their skills (some of them learning their instruments) on stage. They recorded their debut EP, ‘Rebirth’, in 2010 after finding their sound and went on to play live heavily for a couple of years building up a loyal fan base.

The band took some time off from playing live in 2012 to write new material and get the songs tight and as they wanted them to sound before taking them on-stage.  The ‘second chapter’ in their career starts now with new single ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ from the forthcoming album ‘No End’, and they sound like a new band.

‘Rebirth’  was quite a bold statement for a first EP with prog rock style synth solos jammed into really heavy melodic metal in the vain of Arch Enemy. Each song on the album sounded different enough to keep your interest from dropping off without sounding like they were recorded by different bands. What is surprising is that  there are just four members of the band, but for just four guys they sure make some noise!

The time off for a year has certainly paid dividends; ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ is a more polished and better produced offering than that first EP. The song writing has kicked up a notch too, with intricate time changes and a fluidly shifting song structure that really works. Every musician is working to their utmost to produce a driving wall of sound that comes in so heavy and with vocals so powerful and strained you wonder quite where they can go from there. The song then switches to sung vocals which evoke a post-hardcore sound in the style of Funeral For A Friend, which isn’t out of the ordinary for Near Ruin, but give a real sense of the band’s range, augmented by the keyboard solos, which are the thing that really stick out about this band. The middle eight softens to piano keys that fade to silence before the giant chorus comes in one last time urging you to sing along, fist aloft.

It’s difficult to pigeon-hole Near Ruin into any particular genre as the veer from metal to hardcore with prog rock influences. But one thing you can certainly say is that they’re powerful. If ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ is a yard stick by which to measure the upcoming album then it will be a very intense and well polished beast of a record indeed.

For updates, news on the new album and gig dates:
Find them on Facebook and
Follow them on Twitter: @NearRuin


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