Released By : Apollyon Records
Genre : Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Modern Metal
Links : http://ofwrathandruin.com
01. Forever Unseen
02. Lust and Love
03. Shame Is the End
04. Sapphire Sea
05. Eyes of Fire
07. To Walk Alone
08. Water of the Corrupt
09. The Reckoning
Occasionally a band comes along that confuses me so much I literally scratch my head while listening to their music, OF WRATH AND RUIN are certainly one of those bands and after a dozen or so listens to their new album CONQUERING OBLIVION I still feel as confused as I did after my first run through. See, the musical side of this album treads water between power metal and progressive metal, but a vast majority of the vocals are more from the modern metal side of things sounding like a mixture of death metal and black metal vocals. There is some clean singing scattered here and there, but for the main part it’s aggressive all the way.
The songs contained on this album have been on the burner since around 2004 when band founder Pat Brose started writing and recording most of the music until a producer he was working with joined the fold. Soon after more members followed and eventually OF WRATH AND RUIN was transformed from a one-man project into a fully-fledged band.
The first band that comes to mind when trying to compare these guys to somebody would probably be DIMMU BORGIR, but there is also a very SYMPHONY X vibe here too. Musically this is progressive metal, but it never seems to go too far off into a tangent and cleverly avoids the “wank music” tag by never sacrificing melody for speed or skill. That’s not to say that you won’t find any of either of those things on the disc, the pace gets quite frenetic at times and some of the guitar work here is amazing, but unlike other bands in the genre OF WRATH AND RUIN also know when to tone it down and just focus on a simple melody line to get their point across. The keyboard is also used very sensibly and while you can always hear it, it plays second fiddle to the guitars in the mix which is certainly a good thing.
All in all I am enjoying CONQUERING OBLIVION, but I can’t get right into it as much as I’d like. I think it’s because the harsh vocals interfere a little too much with what else is going on. That’s no dig at Pat Brose though, his artistic vision and his skills across the board are very impressive and I’m sure he has a long future ahead in the metal business, but for my personal taste I would have preferred the vocals to be a little more melodic. Fans of black metal vocals though will be sure to love this album, as will progressive metal fans that are open minded as far as what type of vocal work they are prepared to listen to. OF WRATH AND RUIN have released a very impressive debut album, it’s just a matter of whether it suits your individual tastes, but as far as being worth the time and effort to check it out…hell yes!
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 8/10