Premiere and Review: Unfathomable Ruination – “Defy the Architect”
Some nasty new jams to start your week
Back in September, we brought you the first taste of the upcoming Unfathomable Ruination brutal death metal opus, Enraged & Unbound. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I liked that taste enough that I’m going back for seconds. Today, we’re teaming up with them again to bring you one of my favorite tracks from the new album, “Defy the Architect.”
Unfathomable Ruination is a band with two distinct sounds: one is the aggressive, pummeling sound one would expect from a brutal death metal band, and the other is a slower, progressive, more subtle side. “Defy the Architect” is a sort of bridge between those two halves. A tapped melody fades in atop a syncopated riff and tricky cymbal pattern, quickly giving way to a chunky groove replete with pinch harmonics. Short bursts of speed come and go with subtle time signature changes and flurries of tapping, eventually kicking up the speed with blastbeats and tremolo picking. It shifts back and forth between a double-time variation of the main riff and the faster parts, eventually closing out on that monster groove established early on. Julien Truchan of Benighted laying down some truly thick vocals is just icing on this cake of filth.
As a mixture of those two sounds mentioned before, this song is also a good representative of the album as a whole, and it shows off a lot of the aspects of the band that make them a cut above the rest to my ears. A lot of it has to do with that aforementioned subtlety; it’s not something you’d typically associate with brutal/tech death, and maybe it’s not something you think you’d even want from it, but it makes a world of difference. Small variations between repetitions allow the songs to establish and perpetuate their themes without growing stale, and adventurous fretwork gives the music a much wider sonic palette to work with compared to the typical low-end focus of the genre. They’re also masters at tying seemingly disparate ideas together. Look at that fast riff in the song above; everything comes to a halt when it’s first introduced- understandable given its complete tempo change- but it’s later weaved back in effortlessly with the reprisal of the main riff. It’s one thing for a band to have a bunch of good ideas, and another entirely to make them all fit together; Unfathomable Ruination does all this and makes it sound easy.
If you’re already a fan of the band, you’re going to love Enraged & Unbound. Everything that made Finitude great is still here, and the screws have all been tightened down. It’s fast and savage, they’re still full of those unique melodic ideas, and the entire listening experience just feels a lot smoother and more cohesive. If you’re new to Unfathomable Ruination, brace yourself for a wild ride. You’re in for a treat either way; this album is progressive, heavy, and, well, brutal. It’s everything you could want from BDM and then some, and for that I’m giving it: