When a band’s bio starts with, “Voice of Ruin was born in 2008, driven by the common desire of five Swiss farmers who dreamt of leaving the family farm and becoming rock stars. Hungry for success and recognition, the five strapping young lads abandoned their shovels and harvesters to take on a different type of instruments, with the goal of becoming icons of sex, alcohol and rock ’n’ roll (or horny famer metal),” you cannot help offering it highly intrigued attention whilst also making inevitable assumptions. As shown by their new album Morning Wood though, the band whether by design or just by natural instinct do not realise the complete tongue in cheek encounter imagined. Certainly lyrically the songs upon the release come with a humorous swagger and intent bred from their ‘background’ but musically what you get is highly accomplished and passionate, not forgetting inventive metal. Like a mix of Lamb Of God, Sylosis, and The Black Dahlia Murder with plenty of extra additives, sound and album captures senses and imagination from start to finish. Admittedly severely original moments are as scarce as udders on a bull but it cannot stop Voice Of Ruin from providing a rigorously enjoyable onslaught.
Plucking relevant info from their farmyard history, Voice Of Ruin first made a mark with their debut EP The Crash in 2009 to be followed to greater acclaim by their self-titled album two years later. Its success led to the band breaking out into Europe with album and their live presence, countries like France, Russia, and Ukraine overwhelmed as the band’s homeland by their ‘Horny Farmer Metal’. Going onto share stages with such bands as Caliban, The Black Dahlia Murder, Entombed, Textures, Tankard, Sylosis, God Dethroned, Benighted, Dew Scented, Sybreed, Do Or Die, Breakdown Of Sanity and many more, the Nyon hailing band now uncages Morning Wood to take another step in cornering the worlds metallic dairy market.
Welcome To The Stud Farm makes an intriguing and impressive entrance to the album, guitars casting a web of sonic enterprise and enticement around crisp rhythms and a throaty bass lure. Its presence and energy intensifies deepens into its minute and a half as it feeds the imagination a colourful and magnetic bait leading to the following Party Hard. The second track launches itself with a roar from Randy Bull exploding within rampant rhythms, a torrent of riffs, and another immediate weave of temping scorched melodic endeavour crafted by guitarists Nils Bag and Tony Cock. It is a fiery proposition, nothing startlingly dramatic but potently gripping and skilfully unleashed.
The strong beginning continues just as pungently through both Through The Eyes Of Machete and Day Of Rage, the first delivering a coarse battering of rhythms from drummer Oli Dick and antagonistic riffery veined by acidic grooves. The track almost spirals around the senses with its excellent guitar play whilst the bass of Erwin Van Fox stalks with a dark resonance. The encounter is another elevation in the release but it is the glorious unveiling of clean vocals cast by Van Fox within a more reserved passage which steals the strongest satisfaction and shows the potency of the songwriting and invention within the band. Its successor is a natural predator; from its first gnaw of riffs and the toxic breath which covers air and the varied squalling vocals a bestial yet resourcefully sculpted scavenger. It is an unrelenting incitement which ravages senses and emotions for another pleasing assault, the twisted grooves and the simple voracious urgency of the track irresistible.
The unbridled ferocity of The Rise Of Nothing consumes ears next, its intensive pressuring from the first second led by a superb carnivorous bass stalking and vindictive rhythms whilst its core canvas is a breeding ground for heavy metal colour and virulently tempting hues painted and sent soaring by the excellent guitar work. As mentioned earlier there are few times that the sound and songs throw you a curve ball in originality but it has to be said and epitomised by this track alone, that working its alchemy under the surface of songs is a bewitching flow of dramatic invention and contagious unpredictability, it is just you have to work to see it as openly as it deserves.
Both the title track and its successor Viols Désinvoltes provide thoughts and pleasure with further captivating adventures, the first at certain moments wrapping its uncompromising aggression and serpentine hostility with absorbing flumes of clean vocals which takes the track from a strong if expectations feeding level to something of a pinnacle on the album. It is not the vocals alone which make the difference though, piercing and technically thrilling invention equally effective as it spills out from the tempest to great success as the track leads into the second of the pair. The most anthemic track on the release, and the most hostile with its industrially kissed fury, the new song is pure sonic rancor framed by equally adverse rhythms and vocals; raw metal moonshine of the most toxic potency.
The following Cock’n Bulls and the instrumental Today Will End descend with their own inhospitable bodies next, both belligerently intrusive and appealing. The first infusing a southern twang and groove to its admittedly increasing persuasive torrents and the second emerging from a black hearted storm with deliberate winds of sonic painting and reserved but still unstoppable intensity. In many ways neither matches earlier triumphs but do reveal more of the scope and skills of the songwriting and band whilst providing further variety to the almost pestilential attack overall of the album.
The trio of the salaciously jaundiced Sex For Free, the severely bruising Big Dick, and the closing creative storm that is Dirty bring the truculent album to a senses wasting close; the first of the three with its poisonous melodies and barbarous rhythms the most contagious and exciting of the closing stretch. Morning Wood is a thoroughly enjoyable ravaging even if one which keeps well within the walls of existing designs and when it does offer undoubted invention and mouthwatering ingenuity leaves it under a thick wash of almost uniformal surface rapaciousness. It means you have to work to discover the elements which set the band apart more than imagined but those rewards are full and impressive. So forget the image and gimmicks behind the sounds if new to the band just indulge in one very healthy and mischievous slab of bovine strong metal.
Morning Wood is available digitally and on CD now via Tenacity Music.
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