menace ruine The Die Is Cast (CD, £11.95)label: Alien8
Montreal's Menace Ruine came out of nowhere with a debut release, "Cult of Ruins", that fused black metal and noise with astonishing results. Only eight months later, here they are with the follow up and a drastic change in sound. “The Die Is Cast” sees the duo eschewing the howling vocals and blast beats and replacing them with majestic songs based around the vocal style of Geneviève and the anthemic medieval music that bears much more resemblance to Neo-Folk than Black Metal. The band’s sound is far more approachable this time around, yet remains challenging at the same time. Sombre tunes propelled by slow-paced martial percussion, ambient electronics and droning feedback are carried by an incredibly powerful vocal performance by Geneviève. Menace Ruine set out to make a concept record based around medieval music, without sacrificing their intensity, and they have managed to do so gloriously. With the popularity of black metal, it seems some of the more fringe genre’s such as neo-folk are also gaining more notoriety. American Black Metal bands such as Leviathan and Nachtmystium have paid tribute to Death In June by covering a couple of their martial anthems. Menace Ruine have taken that one step further by doing an entire recording in that vein. Folks familiar with Menace Ruine will be surprised when they hear "The Die Is Cast", but will still be able to connect to the band.
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