Review: Near Ruin, No End

 

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Near Ruin are a Kent-based melodic metalcore band I’ve been waving the flag for since the beginning of this year upon the release of the single ‘Smoke & Mirrors’, more recently they released ‘Relinquish’ and ‘No End’, the title track of the album, all for a pay-what-you-want fee on their Bandcamp page.

On the surface ‘No End’ is a well polished album full of great hooks and riffs, snarling verses and anthemic choruses, but scratch below the surface a little and you find out just how seriously ambitious this album is. This nine track album has been four years in the making after 2010s ‘Rebirth’ during which time the band underwent a few line-up changes, they also wanted to focus on getting their sound right and produce a quality product.

The fruits of their labours are evident with songs that have brutally heavy riffs and vocals that can switch, effortlessly to softer more atmospheric, almost delicate, sections consisting of just keyboards. There’s something for everyone on this record, as long as you like your music heavy. The songs are written in such a way that certain hooks will latch themselves into your brain for days, refusing to leave.

All the songs on the album feature a multi-layered effect and they are really helped to this end by the addition of a keyboard which is utilised differently in each song. This instrument is played as a synth instrument in the background of songs like ‘Into Exile’ to add a frenetic feel to the song, or as a piano to add weight and gravitas to a quiet bridge section or intro, like that on ‘Apostles & Heretics’. It is used by the band to really amplify the feeling in the songs and is a breath of fresh air when listening to an independent band, who usually rely just on the basic guitar, bass, drums, vocals set-up, only adding synth to beef up chord progressions. Near Ruin buck this trend by using it as a lead instrument.

If you are interested in how songs are put together you can really listen to the individual parts and wonder at them, but when you realise this album was recorded and packaged entirely by the band themselves – at home! – you realise this is something truly special. Four years since the last release hasn’t been wasted, instead Near Ruin have perfected these nine songs and have taken the time out to learn production techniques so they can have total creative control over the finished product.

The finished album is something the band should be very proud of as it sounds as close to a professionally produced effort as I’ve heard from an independent record. Just imagine what they could produce in another four years!

Check them out and tell them what you think on Facebook and buy the album from their Bandcamp page.

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