ALBUM REVIEW: Among The Ruined – ‘Despite All Odds’

Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer 

Among The Ruined first caught my attention at the annual Wallapalooza Festival on the Gold Coast a couple of years ago. I was working at the festival that year and was run off my feet all day and night, busy doing my thing, but I remember the moment Among The Ruined hit the stage. I was taken by their youth, their luscious locks, their presence on stage, their talent and their BIG sound. I knew from that moment they were destined for something bigger than a local music festival. I made a point of introducing myself to the guys after their set and told them I wanted to book them on one of my gigs. Which I later did, and again, their performance blew me away. There is no doubt in my mind that if these guys keep working hard, they will go far. And I hope they shoot for the fucking stars. 

Their debut album, ‘Despite All Odds’ was unleashed into the world last Friday, June 26, 2020. The album is as impressive as seeing them live, which is a big call. Some bands are better live, some are better in their recordings. Then there’s that handful that just kill it with both, Among The Ruined are among them. The album is one of blood, sweat and tears from the guys and you can hear it in every note. Over the course of a year, the guys did all the tracking and editing of ‘Despite All Odds’ themselves and worked with Cory Judd (A Night In Texas) on mixing and mastering. They’ve worked hard on this release and it really shows. 

The album opens with a prelude of delicate guitars and spoken word, that flows into screams of the title of the track “We Live, We Breathe, We Are” – it draws a shiver right up my arms and through my skull as I listen to it and type this. Straight into Death Of Perseverance, which kicks off with a cacophony of sounds in perfect timing with the recognizable scream and “blergh-ya” from frontman, Paddy Creamer. From the get go, listeners are greeted with that heavy, hard, melodic and emotive sound that I know and love from these guys. The clean vocals combined with the screams, grunts and growls is done to perfection. In places, this track reminds me a little of Melbourne Nu Metal heavyweights, Alpha Wolf

Up next is the title track, Despite All Odds, which was released as the first single, along with a music video about a month ago. The video flashing from a clear white backdrop to a hazy blue as the guys pelt out the track with that same presence I see in them on stage, like four men possessed by their music. The lyrics really grab me on this track too, “The only thing worse than to rise and fall, is the unbearable thought of never trying at all….” I also love the fact they’ve purposely left Paddy’s throat clearing at the very beginning of the song and some deep breaths throughout the track also, it gives depth and exaggerates the desperation behind the song. 

As The Depths begins, it makes me close my eyes and breathe deep. This one gives me a little bit of a Good Charlotte feel and I dig that so much. There’s a slight Emo/Pop Punk thing going on here. But then the guitars on this track are highlighted as the song goes on, a classic sound that lends itself to some heavy rock like Guns N’ Roses. I find no matter what genre a band labels themselves, I can always pick influences and moments in their music that lends itself to other genres. Picking Up The Pieces starts with what almost sounds like an explosion of sorts, this one is heavily Prog-ish and also stops to deliver a delicate and soft sound in the bridge and the end before it flows straight into Alone In This Tomb (We Are Broken). This one has a very 90’s Alt Rock sound in amongst the Metal and the Heavy; it’s delicious. I love all the elements in this one. The harmonies on the vocals are impressive here too. This was the second single released from the album along with another music video. Another performance based music vid, but with some close ups of Paddy seemingly battling with his emotions and self. Also some close ups highlighting all of the band playing their respective instruments including some mesmerizing lead moments from lead guitarist, Bailey Mackelden and some really impressive screamo vocals from bassist, CJ Jones. The layering and harmonies in the vocals at the end of this track is also super impressive, all while the steady beat of the drums from drummer Saul Creamer keeps everything like a strong and steady heartbeat right to the very end. 

False Idols closes the album. This one is hard, heavy and fast, it makes my head and heart feel like I’ve just been for a run, non stop, pushing myself to keep going no matter that my heart and pulse is beating and pulsating so fast it feels like my head will explode. This track is busy and unrelenting. It wraps things up in a whirlwind of Metalcore that screams that this band is, as previously mentioned, destined for big things. Bring on some more guys, the world is ready for it. 

Tune into ‘Despite All Odds’  HERE

Follow Among The Ruined:

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With thanks to Collision Course

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