I remember entirely forgetting that Within The Ruins had an album coming out, regardless of the fact that I made a few posts about it. The release date snuck up on me and while I did listen to the album a ton that first week, I never got around to writing a review about it. I’m not entirely sure why, but maybe I can apply the better late than never rule to this.
So here we are with the bands third full length effort Elite. A title of which, regardless of its intended meaning, is going to bring on some high expectations. You’ll be quick to learn though that these guys have no trouble meeting those high expectations. Before this album I had always enjoyed Within The Ruins music, but for some reason they never floated to the top of my repeat albums. Invade and Creature are good albums, but Elite lives up to its name with their music. This is without a doubt he finest material they have put out to date. There’s not really a dull moment with this album, and they’ve pushed their sound in every way possible.
The thing that truthfully soars with this album is the guitars. This album is pouring over with fantastic guitar solos and excellently drafted riffs. This album is truly a guitar showcase for the band. Songs like ‘The Charm’, ‘New Holy War’, and ‘I, Blaspheme’ slam you with an assortment of pretty epic riffs. Now with this being a core record you’d be pretty dumb not to expect breakdowns a plenty, but Within The Ruins works the breakdowns into their sound really well and doesn’t rely on them every 30 seconds. It’s a good blend to get the bros in the pit to mosh, but not detract from their complex writing.
One thing I noticed is that some of the lead guitar work felt to me like something you might find on a power metal album; wherein they are playing a constant stream of notes with a higher pitch, particularly the lead guitar behind the verses on ‘Feeding Frenzy’.
Overall the writing on this album is a step up from their previous work. This band hasn’t been a stranger to their proggier elements, but they’ve definitely gotten more in touch with them on this album and it definitely shows through in the writing. A sign of this is in the song ‘Ataxia II’, which is a sequel to the song ‘Ataxia’ from Invade, if that wasn’t clear. The melody of this song is similar to its predecessor, but ‘Ataxia II’ kicks up the writing a tad. There are other smaller riffs that feel like they might be borrowed from older work, but they’ve worked them into this album really well.
I probably don’t have to tell you to listen to this album. This band is at a point where if you know their name you probably have an opinion about them already, but on the off chance that you might not have given their music a chance, Elite is a fantastic place to start.