Review of Ominous Ruin - "Amidst Voices That Echo in Stone"

San Francisco, California has been known as a musical and countercultural hotspot ever since the 1960’s, and when it comes to metal, San Fran’s roots run nearly just as deep. Possessed, Vio-Lence, and Faith No More, pioneers each in their own respective genres, all call the city by the Bay home, and more recent big names like Fallujah, Acid King, and Inanimate Existence were also birthed not far from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Even more recently, however, ascendant acts such as Vastum, Nite, and Ominous Ruin have surfaced hard and fast to remind us all that San Francisco is still a metal hotbed, even after nearly forty years.

Although not necessarily neophytes in the truest sense of the word, Ominous Ruin have been keeping at it and kicking around on extreme tech death splits, comps, and the odd EP ever since 2010, but only now in 2021 are they finally dropping their very first full-length release, Amidst Voices That Echo in Stone, due out February 26th via Willowtip Records.

Do not be fooled, however, by Ominous Ruin’s ostensible rookie status, ladies and germs. This quintet is a mix of local veterans and dedicated founding musicians coming together to form something special indeed. With some members having spent time playing in well-known and well-traveled acts such as Inanimate Existence and Continuum, Ominous Ruin aren’t exactly a bunch of novices, are they? No, not at all, and nowhere is this more evident than upon Amidst Voices That Echo in Stone.

Made up of nine intense tracks covering forty-five minutes of sheer technical brutality, Amidst Voices That Echo in Stone represents eleven years of pent-up talent, aggression, and songcraft all being released at once in a single, colossal, volcanic blast.

Not unlike their obvious influences in Origin, Archspire, and Arkaik, Ominous Ruin aren’t afraid to go for broke and play brutal, technical death metal at ungodly speeds, naturally, but this Bay Area band aren’t all just pace and piss either, folks. With a heaping helping of Inanimate Existence’s metaphysical, musical wanderlust also tossed into the formula, Ominous Ruin’s sound turns out like the perfect blend of extremity and spirituality.

Some of the choicest cuts from Ominous Ruin’s Amidst Voices That Echo in Stone include the ripping opener “Ritual”, the aptly-titled and amazing “Labyrinthine Torment” (Hated One’s favorite), and the digitally demonic “Simulacra”; but honestly, the entirety of this LP is straight fire, people, so don’t forget to press that play below to check out the video for “Ritual”, and if you’re picking up what Ominous Ruin are putting down, than click the links provided below to order yourself a copy of this killer album! \m/

Rating: 96 / 100 (A)

Release Date: February 26th, 2021 (Willowtip Records)

Genre: Brutal Technical Death

FFO: Archspire, Origin, Inanimate Existence, Arkaik, The Zenith Passage, Deeds of Flesh, Abiotic, The Kennedy Veil, Soreption, Unfathomable Ruination

Ominous Ruin Links: Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp


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