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Kronik Voice of Ruin – Cold Epiphany

Release date: December 1

Hi everyone (and Happy New Year) !

I'd like to take advantage of this Epiphany period to tell you about Voice of Ruin's fourth album, Cold Epiphany, released on December 1, 2023. This release has been prepared throughout 2023 by the publication of 4 singles (that's not bad): Unforgiven Sins, I - The Vile King, The Last Feast and Bloody Salvation.

First, let's talk about the band. Voice of Ruin is a Swiss quintet of melodic death metal with groove (and even thrash) overtones. Formed in 2008, Voice of Ruin has forged its reputation on the road, and live performance is an important part of the creative process. Every song has great stage potential. This is a band I can't wait to discover live. In my opinion, their strong point is the way they combine lead guitar melodies inspired by death metal classics with much more modern rhythms. Maybe it's the drummer in me talking, but I really appreciate the percussive parts, which add a groove and a creative edge that sets the band apart from the rest.

Before moving on, in order to avoid redundancy, I've decided not to talk about all the tracks, but only those that stood out the most for me.

The album opens with an intro clearly designed to kick off shows. It symbolizes the calm before the storm. Immediately afterwards comes I-The Vile King with its lyrical guitar solo, contrasting with a much deeper, heavier and groovier riff. The double kick is cleverly used in a fractional way, which considerably reinforces its impact. This track sets the tone straight away, seducing the contrast fan that I am.

An intro with glitch effects launches the track Bloody Salvation, and unlike the previous song, the lead guitar track is very melodic: effective, it's designed to get in and stay in your head, a bit like power. The rhythm section, which is more aggressive and groovy, breaks this trend. On the guitar, the alternate picking sixteenth-note riff also sets the tempo and adds rhythm. 

I loved the drum pattern on the intro to Deathstar Rising. Playing mainly on the toms and bass drum, it lends a tribal effect to the track that makes a change from the classic blast. This process is far from new, but since it's not used so often, it makes a welcome change to the flow of the album. This pattern returns a little later in the track, but, greedy as I am, I want more.

Then comes my favorite track: Unforgiven Sins. It starts with quiet, acoustic bars, just enough to give us a breather, before moving on to a full-speed blast of power, with long double-pedal passages and tapping guitar riffs. The thickness of the sound is much greater than usual. There are many tracks, and a mass of synth layers. The band strings together a variety of different segments. A groovy, powerful bridge precedes a legato guitar solo, which is followed by a polyphony of clear vocals and finally... "Blegh". 

A little later, we discover the only featuring on the album. Singer Anna Murphy's contribution to the song Cyanide Stone brings a little sweetness into this world of brutality. Her harmonious vocals, combined with layers of synthesized "violins", give the track a symphonic touch, in contrast to the riffs, which clearly emphasize rhythm. The guitar plays on off-beats and silences to achieve something heavy, aggressive but above all incisive. 

I had high expectations of Cold Epiphany, as it's not only the album's closing track but also its namesake. As with Unforgiven Sins, it begins with an acoustic intro, as if the musicians were trying to butter us up before slapping us in the face, and it doesn't fail. We find the famous synth violins, a tapping solo (although I'm personally a little less fond of this one) and, above all, a modern, deep riff. All in all, a very effective track, even if it's not the one that stands out the most for me.

Tracks :

– Prelude to a Dark Age

– I – The Vile King

– Bloody Salvation

– Deathstar Rising

– Unforgiven Sins

– The Last Feast

– Cyanide Stone

– Dreadful Tears

– Lustful Gaze

– Cold Epiphany

This album has been looped on my Spotify, and not just for the sake of this review. I really loved this blend of tradition and modernity. I firmly believe that Cold Epiphany will mark a turning point in their career. The bar has been set high, and I sincerely hope they'll follow it up on their next LP. I'm looking forward to it.

This is my first review of the year, with more to come. Don't hesitate to let us know in the comments what you thought of this album. Stay metal in 2024!




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