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Within the Ruins - Empires CD (album) cover

EMPIRES

Within the Ruins

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.00 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
2 stars In 2008, American technical deathcore act Within the Ruins followed up their rather weak debut EP with Empires. Also released on Innerstrength Records, this EP showed the band with a few slight improvements to their core sound introduced on Driven by Fear. Empires has a few more interesting tech-metal moments than their first effort, and even though the overall atmosphere is still pretty generic and sterile, Within the Ruins had made a step forward with this outing. I really wish the band would've done without the boring one-note breakdowns this time around, but there's still enough mildly interesting moments to keep Empires from being completely disposable.

At its core, Empires is virtually the same style we heard on Driven by Fear. That means you should expect fairly by-the-books deathcore with an additional technical edge. Fortunately, the tech-metal edge has been expanded upon slightly this time around, and it replaces a few of the previous EP's more horrific aspects. The wretched clean vocals are hardly found on Empires, and even though there are still far too many uninspired breakdowns here, they are less frequent than they were on the debut. The tech-metal aspect still isn't very remarkable, but at least it holds my interest more than boring deathcore breakdowns. The production has also been improved on Empires, and this sounds much more like a professional release than Driven by Fear.

Empires is a pretty substantial improvement over Driven by Fear, but it still isn't enough to really blow me away. Within the Ruins simply don't possess memorable songwriting tools, and their frequent 'default to breakdown'-styled compositions fail to come across as more than a mere gimmick. The musicianship and production are very strong, though, so 2 stars are pretty fair for Empires. Even though this isn't a particularly memorable effort, it may be worth a look from fans of Within the Ruins and deathcore in general.

J-Man | 2/5 |

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