All To Ruin are a melodic metal quintet from Wales who formed just two short years ago. After recording a demo which gained attention from various big name metal publications, as well as radio airplay, the five-piece have now released their first official EP entitled Parables.
‘A Part of a Line’ has a real nu-metal feel to it. At various points the vocal talents of Aaron Roberts reminded me quite strongly of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Together with the ethereal guitar work from Luke Curran and Rhodri Williams, his lyrics create a light and easy listening atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong, this is heavy music and that is emphasized quite firmly by Tom Richardson’s drum work, but there is a pleasant ambiance about this number.
Things get quicker with ‘As We Exit’, a feverish track with elements of hardcore. Richardson utilizes blast beats to good effect here, and once again the contrasting guitar tones allow the song to be simultaneously light and heavy. With ‘The King is Dead’ I am once again taken back to my adolescent days of nu-metal and pop punk. This is not a criticism, I actually dig this sound. It may just be me but I feel like too many young bands push themselves to be as heavy as possible and end up losing some of their coherence as a result. When I listen to a song like ‘The King is Dead’ I feel as though I’m hearing a group that has really thought about how to create something that is just pleasant to listen to, from a purely simple aesthetic perspective.
‘Under the Shade’ is perhaps the best track of the whole EP. Richardson is on top form here, and for the first time it feels like Andrew Pope’s bass is being fully appropriated. This song has a certain weight to it, a deeper punch than the tracks which preceded it. Although having said that, it did feel a little repetitive at times.
The EP concludes with ‘Vultures’, a track which kicks off with a low guttural growl quite unlike any vocalization that Roberts or Richardson on backing vocals had previously employed. About halfway through I found myself thinking of Killswitch Engage, as a thudding rhythm was accompanied by those low lyrics. My only qualm with this one is that it ended rather abruptly.
Overall this is a pretty solid first release from a band that seem keen to make their mark. I would have liked to have heard a bit more from bassist Andrew Pope, who at times was virtually anonymous, but other than that I was pretty into this EP. I would recommend this release to anyone who likes modern hard rock and metal, and also people like me who grew up with nu-metal. I look forward to hearing more from these guys.
Parables is released through San Agency on September 23rd 2013.
All To Ruin are:
Aaron Roberts – Vocals
Luke Curran – Guitar
Rhodri Williams – Guitar
Andrew Pope – Bass
Tom Richardson – Drums/Screams