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HALLOWS DIE – World Of Ruin

  • Review by: Madhav R

A twisted world requires a twisted soundtrack; such is the goal of Hallows Die, a 4 piece melodic death metal band hailing from Mississauga, Canada. ‘World Of Ruin’ is the band’s first full length album after their self-titled EP released in 2008. With themes ranging from human morality to self induced mental breakdowns, this band has got it all. We at Headbangers India gave the album a spin and this is our verdict.

‘World Of Ruin’ starts off with ‘Dreamcatcher’; a 5 minute song with a slow, chord-heavy keyboard intro, leading into a solid, sharp guitar lick and a gut-wrenching growl. It’s evident that the band knows all the elements required for an ass-kicking metal song, and they’ve put it all into the track, sparing nothing at all. The vocals sound like a bear whirling in a blender, with strong drumming and nifty footwork thrown in for good measure.

‘Fall From Heaven’ and ‘Sea Of Embers’ continue in the same vein until the 4th song on the album, ‘The Black Forever’ changes everything. An acoustic song, this one serves as a nice change of tempo and mood, after the brutal intensity of the first 3 numbers. Well-composed guitar lines with subtle keyboards peppered across the plate would be the main highlights on this track. But like the calm before every storm, the end of the song brings about the monstrous intro riff of ‘Murderer.’ The drumming stands out, as with the previous songs and the guitaring continues to impress, with some fine shredding segments and solos.

After ‘Bring Out Your Dead’ and ‘Blood For Lies’ comes ‘In The Absence Of Light,’ which this takes my pick as the best song on the album. Despite continuing the formula from all the tracks preceding this song, it still carries some small element, which places it a step ahead from the rest of the songs. Whether it’s the keyboard intro, the predominant heaviness that hammers you down and bears down upon you, or jus ‘the absence of the light,’ I can’t say for sure. ‘Burnt Silhouettes,’ song number 10 seems like a continuation of ‘The Black Forever.’ This time, however, the music is accompanied by some rather heavy, over-played drumming which tends to take the emphasis away from the other instruments. ‘In This Emptiness,’ the last track on the album is a continuation of the previous song, this time with loads of heavy riffing and growling vocals. These two songs together wouldn’t be out of place in Opeth’s album ‘Damnation.’ The feel of the songs, the vocals and even the production are very reminiscent of Opeth’s classic 2003 release.

However, the biggest and most noticeable flaw with ‘World Of Ruin’ is that all the songs on the album sound way to similar to each other for it’s own good! There is no doubt that the guitarists and the drummer have oodles of skill, but the obvious fact is that the composing process needs a thorough revamp. The guitar licks, while being extremely melodic and very well-done, sound repetitive over the entire length of this 45 minute long album. The vocals are powerful and vicious but still lacks the brutality that separates the boys from the men. The album’s production was done by Dan Swano (Edge Of Sanity, ex Bloodbath) and it sounds great, no problems there.

All in all, a good metal release. A must buy for any budding metal guitarist, and any fan of Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquility, Opeth and maybe even Meshuggah and Children Of Bodom!