There are some people out there that are actually celebrating the return of doomsters ORODRUIN from Rochester, US. Basically those people that were digging the small, dedicated and slowly expanding underground Doom scene of the late 90s-early 2000s. If you are one of those who were ordering the stuff of PsycheDOOMellic Records by mail, trading countless CD-rs including demos and other stuff and trying to get in touch with as many bands as possible to get their music, then “Epicurean Mass”, ORODRUIN‘s debut has already a very important place in your record collection and your heart. And I know very well that you have been waiting since 2003 for their sophomore album to come.
16 years after their debut, ORODRUIN has released a magnificent album I must say. It consists of 9 songs that combine Traditional and Epic Doom Metal forms, some amazing Heavy Metal riffing, plus some serious Proto Metal touches (like the main riff on the final part of the “Man Of Peace” song, or the fast part of the “Into the Light of The Sun” track).
ORODRUIN actually selected a “back to basics” way to arrange their material and the result sounds great. They leave space for their amazing, really outstanding riffing, adding extra guitar melodies and small lead guitar parts, in the right place, the right time. Song tempos change from slower to faster and again back to slow, letting some more riffing rise into the foreground. On top of all these you will be able to discover some of the most amazing and warm vocal melodies that were recently recorded on a Doom Metal album. Actually this warmth is the key feature on all the music included on this magnificent album.
Bands like DAWN OF WINTER and WHEEL -mainly their first album- came into my mind as I was getting deeper into the the album’s music. It is mainly this “back to basics” but so “to the point”, approaching of songwriting and the orchestration. The slow, dark moments of CIRITH UNGOL and WITCHFYNDE have also found a way to some the corners of some songs. The magic touch of BLACK SABBATH is a key feature in here and I can also discover a serious blessing from the CANDLEMASS debut, especially on some riffing. And yes that blend of Proto Metal and NWOBHM on some of the faster riffs is amazing (they are doing it amazingly well on that fast part of “Into the Light of the Sun” that I have already referred to). Listen a little bit closer to the track “War On The World”. Yes ORODRUIN loves NWOBHM. Do you remember their cover of QUARTZ‘s classic “Stand Up and Fight”? I do… Anyway back to the originals: We get trademark heavy riffing, guitar harmony interplay and first class songwriting.
John Gallo (guitar), Mike Puleo (bass/vocals), Nick Tydelski (guitar) and Mike Waske (drums) was the line up that started to work on “Ruins Of Eternity”. The album was tracked throughout 2018 at Wicked Squid Studio and is the result of a two-year songwriting burst from the band, who are now a trio after the departure of Waske. (Puleo pulled double-duty on the album and handled the drums). Even as a trio, the final result they offer, is still spectacular.
Yes I strongly believe that ORODRUIN have composed some of their most magnificent songs for this release. The fanatics would probably remember “Letter Of Life’s Regret” from the “2011 Spring Demo” -yes the one released on the “Days Of Doomed Fest” back then. It is actually the only older composition that have made it onto the album (yes, I am referring to the older stuff that was included on the demos and EPs released of the band since 2003, -there were not a lot and they were very limited, so even with them appearing we were still waiting for our full length fix-).
Vocals of Puleo are a very important chapter on this record. He sings with soul, actually “living” each and every lyric. What an impassioned performance! Especially on the title track, as well as on “Forsaken”, “Man Of Peace”, “Into the Light of the Sun” and “Hell Frozen Over”.
The sure thing is that I will find myself returning again and again to this album. It is the overall songwriting, the dark atmosphere and mainly the fact that “they do not make records like this anymore”. If the band promises to deliver another album like this, OK I can wait 16 more years.
I must also point out that the production of the album is great. Doing justice to the material. As far as the album’s cover art is the combination of various images pulled together by Gallo, including the Thomas Cole print “Expulsion of Eden”. It’s all part of a meticulous, highly thought-out package from ORODRUIN, who prove on “Ruins of Eternity” that the passage of time is no match for sterling, honest doom metal done right.