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PALLASCHTOM

Ruins

Zeuhl


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Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pallaschtom was the second studio album proper by the fourth incarnation of Ruins (although Sasaki Hisashi also featured on several collaborations, live albums and the excellent expanded line up that made Symphonica. Ruins' discography is somewhat bewildering). The line up of Yoshida Tatsuya and Sasaki Hisashi made the most dazzlingly intense and complex music yet released under the Ruins banner - the songs are full of abrupt shifts in tempo and dynamics, and the combination of 6 string bass, drums, 2 voices and some intelligently used MIDI technology means that this usually sounds like much more than a bass and drums duo (and a million miles from drum & bass). Sasaki also has a hand in some of the songwriting, although Yoshida remains the main composer.

As well as being an album of remarkable complexity, it's also one of the best sounding of Ruins' albums - Yoshida is a masterful drummer, and he has rarely been recorded with such depth and roundness of tone. And what of the music? The Zeuhl influence is still obvious, with manic vocals in a made up language being intoned, screamed, moaned and even occasionally sung over piledriving rhythms, and lovers of improvs by more recent incarnations of King Crimson (eg Thrakkattack) will also find much to enjoy on here. There are occasional nods to the band's hardcore punk roots, such as Gharaviss Perrdoh, but there are also jazzy runs and even near psychedelic interludes on Celledomi Guazto. Comparisons are a tad futile, however, because it sounds exactly like Ruins only more so. The manic stop/start/quick change nature of the compositions make this a slightly challenging album to take in at a single sitting, though perseverance is well rewarded as there are some beguiling subtleties lurking beneath the noise and the fury.

A particular bonus is the Prog Rock medley, in which the dynamic duo knock out snippets of 30 or so prog classics (both famous and obscure) - it's fun trying to recognise all of them. On the japanese release there are also classical and hard rock medleys performed in the same style - and they could also reproduce them live.

Not for the faint of heart, but strongly recommended to anybody who's curious about exploring the wilder shores of the contemporary Japanese prog scene.

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Send comments to Syzygy (BETA) | Report this review (#46758)
Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
horsewithteeth11
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After "Tzomborgha" and "Hyderomastgroningem", I think I can safely say that Ruins is by no means a band that makes any easy-listening material. Although something about their music really tickles my brain in a way I can't describe. I thought the previous two albums had a few too many moments that were noise simply for the sake of noise. I was hoping that the bands had an album that contained more actual songwriting (or as close to songwriting as Ruins gets), and lo and behold, Pallaschtom definitely delivers on that account.

Thanks to the wonders of MIDI technology, Ruins can sound like a band that both plays more than bass and drums and sound like a band that is playing anything but bass and drums. For some this is a blessing and others a curse, but for me it is definitely the former. Unlike the first two Ruins albums I became familiar with, the amount of noise that is found in this album is not there just for the purpose of being "different" or more "avant-garde". It tends to serve some type of purpose, and one can easily tell that all the tracks are very well structured and thought-out. While much of the music still sounds a bit like jamming, albeit with some mind-boggling tempo and time changes, it is not meandering (an issue I have with some of the band's other work). All this being said though, this is still by no means for the average symphonic prog fan. Actually, this isn't for the average music fan. Most people will run away screaming and pulling their hair out the first time they sit through several Ruins songs. If they had used this album to torture people in Guantanamo, I would not be surprised (although the vocals might end up torturing some of the guards too). Although I think part of the reason this band appeals to me is because I tend to enjoy lots of heavy and/or challenging music.

This Ruins album feels much more complete compared to my previous two adventures with this duo's work. I think I can safely rank this one at 4 stars. I will say however that one must have an adventurous taste in music before checking out Pallaschtom. Either that or you enjoy the sound of crying chipmunks from time to time. I swear I heard that type of sound at some point on here...

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Send comments to horsewithteeth11 (BETA) | Report this review (#250054)
Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars After seeing Tatsuya Yoshida perform his one man show of Ruins' music at the Lars Hollmer Tribute Night I was immensely impressed by his talent. The man was handling drums, vocals and electronics work all at once while playing some of the most technically advanced music I've witnessed in a live setting. Naturally I just had to hear how his Ruins albums sounded in comparison to the crazy music that I saw him perform and Pallaschtom was the first step in my exploration.

A long album featuring 19 tracks of music might not be something that should be recommended for beginners, especially since there are more coherent alternatives available in the much more Magma-sounding Symphonica, but I just couldn't resist this album seeing that it featured the three medley tracks that I previously heard on Youtube. The sounds that are incorporated into this release are far from the familiar Zeuhl territory that I've witnessed on Magma records and, if anything, Pallaschtom sounds more like a pure Avant-Prog release to my ears.

The album can be roughly divided into three sections. The first 20 minutes (or 7 tracks) are what I would refer to as the crazy portion of the release where music just bounces in every possible direction and it's impossible to predict what the duo will do for every second of each track. This is also my most favorite part since I honestly can't recall if I've ever heard anything more extreme than the material offered here. The second portion of the album take the music into a lower gear and we even get a few groovy bass instances, like on Kippssidamn, atmospheric sections, like on Czerudmuntzail and even some slap bass action on Ffilhizabmn!

The final part of the album features two longer compositions called Quetzalcoatl and Yawiquo that basically give us a mix of the previous two portions of the album added together into comprehensive pieces of music. Still it's the the three medleys that seem to have caught the publics attention, which is completely understandable since each one of them has over 25 different familiar melodies featured withing a their very short time spans!

Pallaschtom is an album I would recommend to fans of John Zorn (including Naked City) and Mike Patton (including Mr. Bungle and Fantômas) rather than anyone expecting Zeuhl music. It is nonetheless an excellent ride that will add a new dimension to any prog rock music collection.

***** star songs: Pallaschtom (2:11) Znohjmo (3:39) Czerudmuntzail (3:45) Hard Rock Medley (2:33) Progressive Rock Medley (2:33)

**** star songs: Gharaviss Pedro (2:38) Nivaftopoftz (1:12) Celledomi Guazto (4:12) Guamallapish (4:21) Kippssidamn (4:55) Schovstess (2:01) Blimmguass (4:33) Bupphairodazz (3:56) Ffilhizabmn (4:14) Quetzalcoatl (5:37) Classical Music Medley (1:19)

*** star songs: Korromda Peimm (2:15) Jallamjikko (1:17) Yawiquo (6:48)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#283473)
Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars With its super-fast changes in musical direction, chaotic and noisy playing, and generally over- the-top approach to avant-garde rock music, Ruins sounds like what would happen if Mr Bungle got together with Magma and Henry Cow to make some sort of Frankensteinian jamming collective. Influenced by more or less every rock band under the sun, Ruins underline this point with the medleys collected at the end of this album, in which they cram distinctive and recognisable motifs from a swathe of classic compositions from classical music, hard rock, and prog into a miniscule period of time. And the frenzied, delirious journey to the medleys is a treat too.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#640399)
Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 | Review Permalink

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