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Digital Ruin
Dwelling in the Out
January 2002
Released: 2000, InsideOut Music
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

There is a very enjoyable trend starting…progressive metal. Before you say, “What the hell are you talking about JP?! Progressive metal has been around for 20+ years!”

There are a handful of bands putting the word “metal” back into progressive metal and Digital Ruin is one of them and I for one am thankful. Think about it, bands like Zero Hour, Pain of Salvation and Digital Ruin are putting the guitar back into prog metal. Hell even Dream Theater is starting to rock out again!

Digital Ruin kick a fair amount of ass and that’s a good thing. Their second CD and first on the very cool Insideout label takes us back to the heady days of old Fates Warning and Queensryche when guitars, not keyboards were the driving force of prog.

This US four piece have produced a truly magnificent work. The songs are not too long, (most fall in the 5-7 minute range) too frilly or too pretentious. The word “dark” has been used to describe the music and that would be an accurate assessment, the riffs are not your typical happy riffs at all. There are many great time changes and tempo changes especially in tracks like “The Forgotten” and “Adrift”. The guitars are crunchy and the piano and keyboards are used sparingly and to good affect. The vocalist has a midrange singing style, not too high but he can hit the higher notes when he needs to and with ease. Mostly he doesn’t have to because the compositions are a little somber in nature, no big harmonized, sing-along choruses here!!

I really enjoy this CD, a great listening experience with this rich, complex, multi-dimensional prog-metal band that remembered to bring the guitars and amps along for the ride. This is band I would recommend to true metal fans who wanted to explore some progressive stuff, but didn’t want to tackle a two hour Dream Theater CD with 10 minute keyboard solos. Check them out you will be glad you did.
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