Near Ruin-Smoke & Mirrors (Single)
Metalcore with synthesizers? Not exactly a novel concept. Still, some do it better then others. And in the case of Maidstone, Kent's Near Ruin it's far from a bad combination. Too be fair it might just be this single which, besides being nearly drenched in heavy, guitar-driven metal, does feature the more traditional sound of pianos. All of which does give this band a somewhat different vibe then a lot of what passes for metalcore these days, whether melodic-in nature like this four-piece act or not. Serving as both a follow-up to Near Ruin's "Rebirth" EP and the first single from the group's upcoming album "No End" (due to be released sometime this year) "Smoke & Mirrors", which can be heard in the YouTube video posted below, finds Near Ruin (lead vocalist/guitarist Marcus Kidner, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Simon Beck, bassist/vocalist Luke Knight and Tim Morgan) utilizing their influences (As I Lay Dying, Bullet For My Valentine, Attack Attack, Korn, Slipknot) while simultaneously exploring all of the possibilities that can be achieved by blending such unique (read: varying contrasts) elements as "synth, piano, melodic and hardcore" (their words not mine!). While that might all seem like a mouthful (as it does to me as I read it back over in my head!) what it boils down to is something much more simple in it's delivery, but nonetheless effective! As hardcore and heavy metal influences crush the listener's eardrums, highlighted by the rough vocal-styling of Marcus Kidner and real ROCK guitar playing, Near Ruin utilizes Simon Beck advanced ability on all things keys-related to balance the (perhaps overused description on my part, but extremely applicable in this instance so we'll just roll with it folks!) madness and the melody! For a band which has already released (at least) one EP and has shared the stage with artists like Blaze Bailey and Silent Descent a single as strong as this one is points towards bigger and better things while also showing off the (charming) underground appeal of Near Ruin. Hopefully their upcoming album will prove to further showcase how metalcore can be made-over into something truly fierce and wicked, but for now I'll just be enjoying the head-rush that is "Smoke & Mirrors"!