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Ruins - Symphonica  CD (album) cover





3.93 | 47 ratings

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4 stars Ever since their formation in 1985, Ruins have been a difficult act to follow with at least four different lineups spawning completely different sounds and styles. Therefore it was even more surprising when I saw this Yoshida Tatsuya-project being featured under the Zeuhl banner and after a bit research I was finally able to pinpoint this classification's origin to this particular release.

Together with Hatoba and Refusal Fossil, Symphonica features an occasional exploration of a full band sound that in most other cases is reduced to a power duo. The addition of a keyboards and 2 female vocalists created a completely different aura around the band's sound that can in fact be labeled as Zeuhl. Still, Yoshida Tatsuya isn't planning to limit his artistic vision to any specific genre or style meaning that there are quite a few moments of complete frenzy added into the mix!

Thebes kicks off the album with a definite tribute to Magma with haunting sounds of a keyboard and female vocalists paving the way for the rest of the band. The middle section of this 8 minute composition gets even more haunting with the keyboards now sounding almost identical to the sounds of Le Orme's dark masterpiece Felona E Sorona that transitions into a perfect conclusion. Graviyaunosch shifts in a more traditional Ruins direction although the addition of the keyboard sound does add a whole different mood to the track, this is especially notable towards the end where its sound completely dominates the performance.

Big Head seems like a mix between the Zeuhl flavored Thebes and Avant-Prog that was highlighted by Graviyaunosch. This time the keyboard sound is used more as an added effect than anything else, meaning that it blends in much better with the background environments by creating a very atmospheric second part of the composition. Praha In Spring is much shorter than its predecessors and offers a much more cheerful sound which does feel a bit out of place with the rest of album, but I'm sure that it was intentional on Yoshida Tatsuya's part.

Thrive is probably the most experimental piece out of the bunch that doesn't really add anything interesting to the mix, mostly because I'm not a big fan of the long improv-sounding keyboard solo spot that fuses the intro and outro sections together. The 10 minute long Infect is another return to Zeuhl music with a twist while Brixon Varromiks is another mix between the genres where slow Zeuhl sections are held together by fast-paced instrumental work. Bliezzaning Moltz ends the album on another highlight that is structured around a drum and bass groove.

Symphonica is a perfect introduction album to the crazy and sporadic mind of Yoshida Tatsuya. Still, if you're not sure whether you want to give Ruins a go then I suggest listening to the MP3 sample of Thebes that should definitely make any Zeuhl fan happy!

***** star songs: Thebes (7:39) Graviyaunosch (6:20) Bliezzaning Moltz (7:11)

**** star songs: Big Head (7:33) Praha In Spring (4:36) Infect (10:13) Brixon Varromiks (8:41)

*** star songs: Thrive (4:59)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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