For Ruin | Enlightened

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by For Ruin

This digital-only exclusive featuring 3 brand new tracks of melodic black / death metal from the forthcoming "Last Light" CD - recommended for fans of Death, Dissection, Rotting Christ, Katatonia, Unanimated and Amorphis!
Genre: Metal/Punk: Black Metal
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Crawl
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2:25 album only
2. Care of the Dead
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4:02 album only
3. In Suffering
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5:22 album only
4. Towards an End (Remix)
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4:58 album only
5. Crawl (Demo version)
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2:19 album only
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
For Ruin are proud to announce the release of a digital-only release "Enlightened" - this 5-track release is the precursor to the band's second full-length "Last Light" (FRM 002) which will be released on October 30th '09.

Enlightened (FRM 001) will be available mid September through CDBaby and directly from the band at which will re-launch very soon.

The release features the following tracks:

1. Crawl (Murphy)
2. Care of the Dead (Murphy)
3. In Suffering (Myers/Murphy)
4. Towards an End - 2008 Remix (Murphy)
5. Crawl (demo) (Murphy)

Songs 1-3 are previously unreleased. "Towards An End - 2008 Remix " is a remix of the original version which can be found on the band's debut album December (Sentinel Records GOK 011). Remix by Alwyn Walker from Komodo Studios, January 2008. "Crawl (Demo") is a previously unreleased demo version, January 2008.


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Metal Review of Enlightened
Possibly the most eagerly anticipated Irish release of the year, the long wait for For Ruin’s sophomore full length release is almost at an end. Recorded all the way back in January, during the summer the band finally decided to take the release of ‘Last Light’ into their own hands, rather than wait for a label to give it the priority they feel it deserves.

To bridge the gap while the CDs are manufactured, and presumably to give the band a dry run at organising a digital release, as they’ve also planned for ‘Last Light’, ‘Enlightened’ provides a taster of what to expect come the end of October; in terms of the music, the Paul McCarroll artwork, and significantly also the production.

Normally the production probably wouldn’t even factor into the equation but, whereas after three demos and a full length For Ruin fans have enough faith in John Murphy’s ability to deliver the goods in terms of memorable riffs, great leads and fantastic harmonies, the disappointment engendered by the production on the debut album ‘December’ has left the Cork boys with some ground to make up. And certainly the five tracks making up ‘Enlightened’ are a vast improvement on ‘December’ soundwise.

Recorded in Cork with Alwyn Walker of Komodo Studios many of the flaws that blighted the debut have been ironed out, with a much crisper, clearer and more powerful allround sound. Despite the huge step forward, it’s still just a little way from being all that it could be though. The slightly raw, in places too trebly sound just doesn’t entirely do the Cork four piece justice one feels.

Another shortcoming to these ears is that at times the vocals are a little muddy and low in the mix. These are just minor quibbles, though, that have more to do with wanting to see For Ruin deliver to the full on the great potential that is unquestionably there.

So, although there have been questions over the production in the past, that’s never been the case with regard to the music, and ‘Enlightened’ is no different. The focal points of this five track release are the three new songs; the instrumental opener ‘Crawl’ and the two tracks featured on the band’s MySpace site over the last couple of months, ‘Care Of The Dead’ and ‘In Suffering’.

Although instrumental tracks have long been a feature of the For Ruin approach, ‘Crawl’ is untypical in that it’s more brutal than anything the band has done before, opening up proceedings with frantic, buzzsaw guitars, and generally more Death Metal than one associates with For Ruin.

It’s also not your typical instrumental intro piece. ‘Care Of The Dead’ and ‘In Suffering’ are a little more of what we’ve come to expect from For Ruin, with the trademark, uplifting melodies, the twin guitar work, walking the tightrope between melodic Death and Black Metal; ‘Care…’ rooted more in the former, ‘In Suffering’ the latter.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of this EP is that the two aforementioned tracks showcase Murphy’s greater songwriting maturity, but also the emergence of For Ruin as a band, rather than a one man act. In short, they represent the best of what For Ruin has produced to date.

If they are in any way indicative of what’s to come on ‘Last Light’, the album will be a real milestone in Irish Death Metal, and certainly won’t have to hide behind any of the more established international acts either. It’s also worth mentioning that the frequent comparisons to Rotting Christ made in the past no longer apply, as from release to release For Ruin have developed a sound all of their own.

Completing the EP are a remixed version of the live favourite ‘Towards An End’ and a demo version of opener ‘Crawl’, which in a sense slightly superfluous, serves well as a reprise and rounds the EP off nicely. All in all, ‘Enlightened’ very much whets the appetite for more. review of Enlightened
There’s a strange (and in some ways quite sad) sense of circularity to this review. For Ruin are a rather excellent Irish band fronted by the ever affable John Murphy, and they also happen to be one of the first, if not THE first band that I reviewed for this very website. Fast forwarding all these years, and with the news that Live4Metal will soon be disbanded in its present format, and there is a grim sense of satisfaction that the same band that was my first review will become one my last.
“Enlightened” is a digital only EP release, timed to pre-date the release of the much anticipated new long player “Last Light”, which is pencilled in for a release later this year.
Opener “Crawl” is a tasteful instrumental number, with all the raging death metal touches and mastery of instruments personified by For Ruin, and with the trademark melancholic touches that For Ruin have become known for. It is with the meatier “Care of the Dead” that For Ruin come into their own, however, showcasing their increasingly mature sound and the development of the downcast sense of melody that has always been present, but has been brought to the fore here. Despite having an aggressive tempo, attacking drums and the ever-vicious vocals, there is a tone of despair and dejection in the delicate guitar lines. These conjure an immediate atmosphere – which found a parallel in my mind to those to be found in the …erm…godly “Shades of God” opus by Paradise Lost. “In Suffering” has more of these touches, producing what may well be an unholy mixture of melodic death metal with the post-doom sensations produced by peers in the likes of Finland's Ghost Brigade. For Ruin have a far more “in your face” brand of metal catharsis, and are more likely to bottle you than spend half an hour developing a meandering guitar line and pointless mirror-squatting introspection than some of their other peers. The re-recording of the near-classic “Towards an End” (originally found on their debut full lengther, December) shows just how far For Ruin have progressed in terms of the meaty, confident production and just how professional the four piece now sound. The churning, grinding riffs now sound just as developed as all those minor key, delicate melodies that fans of the band have come to know and love.
The final track, Crawl (demo) does exactly what it says on the tin – a drum machine hampered, rough and ready early demo of the opening track. While rather inessential, it does prove to serve how much time and effort was spent in developing the rough ideas and the songwriting craft on the finished article. My only complaint? At four tracks (plus a demo track) long, “Enlightened” is a teasing, tantalising prick-tease of a release that makes me want to find “Last Lights” and tear its knickers off. Oh, and rather wonderful artwork too, chaps.


HeavyMetalMarket Review of Enlightened EP
What we have here is a Digital EP by the Irish band “For Ruin” that serves as a taster to their forthcoming second full-length album “Last Light”, expected to be released soon. Indeed, four out of the five songs here shall be included on the CD. The CV of the band is quite impressive for their underground status, as they have opened for bands such as Paradise Lost, Amon Amarth, Rotting Christ and Primordial; to name just a few.
They describe their music as Melodic Black/Death Metal, a depiction that I agree with. To be more precise, they reminded me a lot of the early sound of bands such as In Flames and Dark Tranquility, in the sense that the riffing is more melodic than brutal, the vocals (although aggressive) don’t try to sound like coming out of a slaughterhouse and the drumming keeps a sensible pace. The songs show the expected craftsmanship of the genre, by having quite a few changes incorporated in each one of them, harmonic riffs are succeeded by melodic solos, and the whole “mise-en-scene” of this release seems to owe more to Iron Maiden than to, say, Slayer. This doesn’t mean that it’s lacking a right measure of aggressive moments. The musicianship is really astonishing and the band proves to be consisted of skillful musicians. There must be something in the water of Ireland, then!
The first song serves as an instrumental intro (the last one is the same in demo version) and the absence of vocals here proves that their music alone cannot be categorized lightheartedly as merely Black/ Death. Two new songs (‘Care of the Dead’ and ‘In Suffering’) follow, that provide the aforementioned pros of the band. The fourth song (‘Towards the End’) is a remix of a song taken from their debut album and can be used as a comparison to the fresh material. I haven’t heard the original but the band seems to have taken a few steps forward as it sounds a bit rawer than the rest of the “Enlightened’ EP. The sound production is really commendable and, in addition to the nice “booklet”, gives this release a professional aura. So, is everything brilliant about this EP? Technically speaking I would say yes, especially for fans of this style of Metal. Some more originality and personal ideas would be welcome, though. I couldn’tfind a moment on this release to put my finger on and say…”I don’t like this”. On the other hand, I’d love to have more moments here that would surprise me and make me feel that I discovered a small diamond. But, hey, it’s just a part of their second release! I’ll stop murmuring then and press ‘play’ one more time!