Album Review: Unfathomable Ruination – “Decennium Ruinae” 9/10 (Brutal Death)

Written by Kep

Unfathomable Ruination Decennium Ruinae
Technical brutal death metal from London, UK
Releasing May 28 via Willowtip Records
9/10

Few bands in the technical brutal death metal scene are as reliable as London-based five-piece Unfathomable Ruination. Formed in 2010, they’ve cranked out three utterly fantastic full-length albums, including 2019’s Enraged & Unbound, plus an equally solid EP. This 11-year run of quality is particularly impressive when you consider that only drummer Doug Anderson and guitarist Daniel Herrera remain from the original lineup; the band has had several personnel adjustments, including three different vocalists. They’ve never lost their signature sound, despite all that, and said sound is astoundingly heavy, intensely fast, and mindblowingly technical. That applies 100% to new EP Decennium Ruinae, due out on May 28, which is every bit as excellent as we would expect.

Decennium Ruinae consists of four tracks, the first of which (“Suspended in Entropic Dissipation”) is a re-recorded version of a killer song from their original 2010 demo. The remaining three tracks highlight exactly what it is that’s so distinctive about Unfathomable Ruination’s songwriting: the tracks all feel unique and interesting, with fascinating riff structures, metric trickery, and diversity of sound, but never compromise a consistently devastating brutality. We’ve all checked out ridiculously heavy bands where it seems like the tracks all run together after a few minutes, but Unfathomable Ruination is far better than that. 

“A Withered Embrace” showcases a number of metric shifts, with a slew of them tightly packed into the first minute. It opens with a murky riff that seems to be in 4, right up until the rhythm section joins and establishes that we’re actually in 3 and the guitars are just operating in a mixed meter. At :30 there’s a beastly, bruising passage that pummels away in 4, but then becomes rapidly asymmetric before repeating and leading somewhere new. And that’s just in the first 60 seconds! “The Great Contaminator” takes a more headlong approach and features some truly magical shit happening on Doug Anderson’s kit, including perhaps the fastest and cleanest rapid one-hand snare I’ve ever heard. There’s also a plethora of nasty pinch harmonics and, later, a hypnotic and ripping guitar solo. The final track is “Disciples of Pestilence”, and its first few moments are quiet and reflective, so much so that it might catch you off guard given the three songs that precede it. When the band joins, it’s with a much more expansive, almost blackened feeling, including an eerie, highly melodic tremolo-picked main riff that just flies. Don’t worry though, because there’s plenty of crushing brutality alternated with similarly angularity melodic riffs as the song continues.

Long story short, the lads of Unfathomable Ruination have delivered yet again on providing us with a slate full of absolute top shelf technical brutal death metal, and no fan of extreme music should go without hearing Decennium Ruinae. Give “Suspended in Entropic Dissipation” a listen now and get ready to spin the whole thing at the end of the Month.

Favorite track: A Withered Embrace

Score: 9/10

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