Unfathomabe Ruination - Finitude CoverOne of my friends, a classicist and lover of classical music, has a few favorite metal bands he’s never heard. It’s not the music that makes him love Necrophagist or Abominable Putridity; it’s just the absurdity of their names, the contortions of language that must occur for brutality to surge forth. Unfathomable Ruination is a band he can get behind. And well he should, because it would be foolish to try to get ahead of them. Since their 2012 release of Misshapen Congenital Entropy, I’ve been keeping an ear out for the group’s masterful riffcraft, classy songwriting, and cromulitudinously embiggenified lyrical constructions. Taking pointers from SuffocationDeath, Origin and Ulcerate, the band’s sound is unfuckwithable as they come, built from the basics of death metal; guttural howls, blast beats, and an almighty storm of riffs.

Everywhere you turn, Finitude has a horn-throwing, tongue-stuck-out, smash-your-face in riff. The groove on single “Nihilistic Theorem” is more like a canyon – and it’s been raining uphill. It’s where kickass bassist Frederico Benini takes charge, delivering a set of sporadic solos before taking the melodic lead and driving the flash flood of brutality out into the comparatively calm intro of “Neutralizer.” The band end the song on that intro riff as well, because they know damn well when they hit gold. The opening and closing theme of “Neutralizer” sound like Human– era Death but meaner, and it’s an instant classic. This is the kind of song you’d expect from a band that covered “Vacant Planets” at the end of their spine-crushing debut, but the execution is just miles ahead of your imagination. Riff of the fucking year, right there.

Those songs are from the dreaded mid-album stretch, which strangely enough might be Finitude‘s strongest section. But that in no way implies that the rest of the album doesn’t stack up. From “Pestillential Affinity” to “Pervasive Despoilment” the riff flood just doesn’t dry whatsoever and there’s nary a moment of filler – the one breakdown feels like just a hint of Suffocation worship. Even the expansive eight-minute closer is just lousy with slow, twisting grooves and little melodic spasms, though its relatively linear structure could do with slightly more recall.

There is a downside to Finitude, and it’s a tough one to stomach. You see, I have about half a dozen reviews for bands that we actually got promo from and some of these are, shockingly, pretty good albums. The sad truth is, they’re just going to have to wait their goddamn turn while I listen to Finitude more or less continuously. Unfathomable Ruination hit dead center: this is what technicality and brutality are meant to create. The band don’t sidestep the massive pitfalls of the genre but cruise over them, seemingly unaware of their very existence.

Unfathomable Ruination Cover

And the icing on the cake? Doug Anderson’s snare. The guy is an incredible drummer, but even more remarkable is how well his kit fits into the mix. The snare is tight and aggressive but not overbearing, the kick drum sounds like a big, low, powerful kick drum, and his toms, which feature heavily in his fills pack one hell of a wallop. Honestly with a snare that sounds that good, I’m surprised he lets his stick touch anything else, but his performance here is extremely varied and matches the versatility of the band completely. The string trio of Herrera, Piazza, and Benini sound very comfortable playing off of each other, and together create an immense but not overbearing sound. This isn’t a densely contrapuntal Gorguts record, but when solos and leads break through the blasting, it’s easy to see why the band felt like one guitarist wasn’t enough. Yet I do miss how present the bass was on Misshapen Congenital Entropy.

That being said, there’s precious little I can find fault with on Finitude. The songs and riffs are even better than on the last album, the overall sound is a bit more natural, and despite the low DR I’ve been listening to the album on repeat since the first spin. Unfathomable Ruination are about as good as brutal death gets; they capture a classic death metal feel without sounding retro because they just write fucking death metal songs made of fucking death metal riffs. Finitude is the best release in the genre since Omnipresent, and might overtake even Origin‘s recent high water mark – an extreme claim, I know. But every once in a while, a talented band comes along that works hard and learns from the best. And in time, they are destined to join them.

Rating: 4.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Sevared Records
Websites: unfathomableruination.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/unfathomableruination
Releases Worldwide: August 31st, 2016

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  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Best brutal death metal album of 2016 hands down. This is so brutal I felt compelled to even google the overly-used meme to solidify my point. Review is frickin’ A+.

    • Diego Molero

      Ha! Just yesterday I was watching some episodes of Metalocalypse, love that show.

      • The Nerd.

        I was so disappointed that Adult Swim didn’t renew it for a final season

        • Diego Molero

          Yeah, I know. That totally sucks, it would be nice to see how it should have ended. Greedy bastards.

          • The Nerd.

            Well I have good news on that end. Brenden Small said that his next album will end the story of Dethklok. Just not on the show

          • Diego Molero

            Well that is as good as it can get, awesome. Looking forward to it.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    “Unfathomable Ruination?” Don’t need to hear ’em to know exactly what they sound like.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      I’d say Impetuous Ritual have a similar moniker, but sound completely different.

      Yes, I am taking your comment way too seriously.

      • Oscar Albretsen

        Well, I was just saying, the band name, and that picture, certainly go with that brutal style. It’s not really my favorite style, but I like when bands are so devoted to their style. Honestly, though, I didn’t listen to the sample yet so I have no clue what they sound like.

    • Sounds like a Culture space ship.

  • SegaGenitals

    I need this, methinks.

  • Diego Molero

    Dammit Kronos, this came out August 31st, that’s 5 days I could have being listening to this! You were keeping it to yourself, uh?
    Excellent review, love the embedded track, definitely need this.

    • What you need to do is to follow Kronos on Bandcamp, that way you get the inside track on stuff he’s buying. I was listening to this at the weekend. ;)

      (totally not stalking Kronos, honest)

  • Dethjesta

    That riffing really is good enough to tear your face right off – awesome stuff.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    When the score is bigger than the DR…

    • Kronos

      Not anymore!

  • Hey K, the BC download is a DR5. And this is Alan Douches who is a super talented master engineer. So though it is absolutely bricked to hell, he does make it livable (props to Alan and West West Side).

    Great review, and as I you can tell, I just bought it. You owe me like $8 bucks now.

    • Ferrous Beuller

      8? Kronos owes me about 800 from all the albums I’ve picked up because of him… it’s okay if kids go without food for a while, right?

    • Kronos

      Fatfingered that one- it’s changed now.

      • That has never happened to me. Ever.

  • Spear

    This album is so goddamn good. Properly mixed trashcan snare/10

  • The Unicorn (Blueberry Balls)

    Ooooohhhh!!!! Gravity blasts!!!!!!!!!! JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • GardensTale

    I never listen to brutal death. It’s just not my thing. But even I can appreciate the embedded track.

    And props to the audio engineer, this does not sound like a DR5 to me, usually the drums just sound fucking plastic at that level.

  • TminusEight

    This is really good. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album!

  • herrschobel

    oh that snare !!! greatness..i am going to devour a baby unicorn for supper

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Had to check it out because of the 4.5. Well, death isn’t my favorite, but the ultra-brutal stuff is just WAY too heavy for my tastes. Definitely good at what they do, and I’m sure this is a great album for fans of the genre.

  • jersey devil

    This album is very good (though not quite 4.5 for me). It is a big improvement on previous album Misshapen Congenital Entropy, main reason being they got rid of pig squeals. Just give me straight up death growls. Enjoyed the review too.

  • Elton Chagas

    Interesting. But nothing really new, innovative or sublime for a 4.5…

    Actually the new Voidspawn was waaay better.

    • Kronos

      It’s as good as brutal death will get without being any of those things.

  • Phil Daly

    Snare sound straight from Last Days of Humanity’s “Putrefaction in Progress”. Making me almost nostalgic for absurd goregrind!