Written by: Espi Kvlt
Tumultuous Ruin – Demo II
(Red & Anarchist) Black Metal
Los Angeles, California
Released on April 30th, 2021
Tumultuous Ruin has been on my radar as one to watch for a bit now. After the powerful single that was “Trigger Resistance” and the first demo, I was looking forward to seeing what this one-man powerhouse would bring us next. Demo II went above and beyond my expectations, outshining the previous work (which was already fantastic) and showing what a force of nature this band is. I have no doubt that when they drop their first full-length, it will be an instant hit in the black metal community.
“All proceeds go to No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes, providing humanitarian aid and solidarity at the southwest US borderlands”
The second demo opens up with “Trigger Resistance,” which was the first song the project ever teased to us. In the context of this demo, it is the opener, and it is the perfect song to grab one’s attention. Starting off with soft acoustic picking and proceeding to explode into chaotic black metal, it lures you into a false sense of security and then reminds you what you’re listening to: furious, angry metal. The second song, “Lamentation of this Nightmarish Realm,” has an almost DSBM quality about it. With extremely distorted guitars, and vocals which sound like they’re coming from someone dying a mile away, this track has a very Xasthur feel to it, and if I didn’t know that this was a RABM album, I’d think this song was meant to sound depressive (in the “life sucks because I have depression” way, not the “life sucks because capitalism and the totalitarian state are destroying me” way).
We then take a brief pause with “Wane,” being gifted with a soft interlude that has a soft, rumbling guitar and a sample from media I am unsure the source of but which fits nicely into the aesthetic of the album. While it’s odd to have an interlude track on such a short effort, it is certainly a lovely one. The album closes with, “The Day the Patriarchy Dies,” a less than two-minute tour de force of a song. The title is badass, the song is badass, the lyrics are badass, and I was headbanging throughout it. Instead of a classic black metal sound, this song sounds more like blackened grind, which is a massive compliment coming from me as Scumpulse is one of my favorite bands.
All in all, this is a tremendous demo. The vocals are excellent, the riffs are groovy, and the soft sections give the audience a moment to breathe, which is often needed in metal as heavy as this is. The lyrics are an especially shining moment for me, touching on everything from police brutality, to capitalism, to anarchy. If the full-length sounds anywhere as good as this does, it is definitely going to be one of my favorite black metal albums.