"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Face of Ruin - "Within the Infinite" (CD/EP)

Face of Ruin - "Within the Infinite" CD/EP cover image

"Within the Infinite" track listing:

1. Torture of Silence (5:00)
2. Within the Infinite (5:17)
3. In the Depths of Blackness (5:08)

Reviewed by on November 29, 2011

"A frenzied slab of barely controlled chaos, these tracks have just about everything that would be expected from a band that worships at the altar of the likes of The Faceless and Obscura."

In stark contrast to the band’s musical style, Face of Ruin has taken a nice leisurely pace with releasing new material, only dropping short EPs with plenty of time in-between. It’s been three years since the last release, and now the Wisconsin death machine is back again with another EP to show off a new vocalist and pack as much as technical metal mayhem as possible into three new tracks. Taking their cues from the tech death metal gods, the lads from Face of Ruin keep the music brutal, chaotic, and include just a touch of the unexpected.

A frenzied slab of barely controlled chaos, these tracks have just about everything that would be expected from a band that worships at the altar of the likes of The Faceless and Obscura. The guitar work is complex and interesting, the bass always has a strong role to play keeping the music groovy and bottom-heavy, and the guttural vocals maintain the brutality and keep the music harsh.

In a change of pace from the previous self-titled EP, newly recruited vocalist Matt Bishop makes a few departures from the standard growl. In one instance heavily distorted clean vocals pop out of both speakers in a disjointed cacophony for an atmospheric twist, and in a few other places higher and scratchier screams are thrown in to break up the sound.

With only three songs, Face of Ruin doesn’t have much time to show off and make an impact on potential fans during “Within the Infinite.” The real gem of the EP is easily the title track, which delivers the goods on pretty much every level. A sudden slow down and crazy guitar solo changes the game and shifts gears halfway through, while the track ends on an extended fade out that brings out some melody and prog elements.

The stylistic vocal shifts are a welcome change for “Within the Infinite,” but in several places they are overshadowed by how similar the interchange between guitar noodling and drum pounding sounds in each song, as bleed through is an issue here. That’s definitely not a deal breaker though, as the music is still high quality, and honestly it just makes this reviewer want to know how the formula would fare on a longer release. So the questions really are – where’s the full-length and the record deal already?

Highs: High quality technical death metal with a few interesting twists.

Lows: Much of the music ends up sounding too similar.

Bottom line: Face of Ruin shows off more frenzied technical death metal with a new vocalist.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)