WITHIN THE RUINS
Metalcore • United States

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WITHIN THE RUINS is a Massachusetts, USA-based technical metalcore band. Formed in 2005, the band has had many lineup changes since their conception. Their current lineup consists of Joe Cocchi (Guitar), Jay Van Schelt (Guitar), Kevin McGuill (Drums), Tim Goergen (Vocals), and Mike Beaujean (Bass).

In 2006 the band released their first EP, entitled Driven By Fear. Two years later in 2008, their followup EP, Empires, was released. Both of EP's were released under Innerstrength Records.

By the time WITHIN THE RUINS released their first LP, 2009's Creature, they were picked up by Victory Records. Their second full-length, Invade, was released in 2010 under the same label.

--Bio Written by J-Man--
Thanks to J-Man for the addition and tupan for the updates

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PhenomenaPhenomena
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Victory Records 2009
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WITHIN THE RUINS Discography

WITHIN THE RUINS albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.05 | 4 ratings
Creature
Metalcore 2009
.. Album Cover 2.32 | 3 ratings
Invade
Metalcore 2010
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Elite
Metalcore 2013
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Phenomena
Metalcore 2014

WITHIN THE RUINS EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 1.59 | 3 ratings
Driven by Fear
Metalcore 2006
.. Album Cover 2.07 | 3 ratings
Empires
Metalcore 2008
.. Album Cover 1.67 | 2 ratings
Omen
Metalcore 2011

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WITHIN THE RUINS Reviews

WITHIN THE RUINS Invade

Album · 2010 · Metalcore
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Conor Fynes
'Invade' - Within The Ruins (5/10)

Throughout the career of this band, Within The Ruins have continued to impress me more and more with their technical chops, but despite all of the flashy skills on guitar, they seem to always lack in the songwriting department, where it really counts. 'Creature' showed the band developing into a more solid tech metal act rather than the deathcore of yesteryear, and for the most part, I have supported this moderate shift. However, although Within The Ruins have certainly polished up the sound they are working with here on their sophomore full length 'Invade', I cannot say that the musical experience itself has actually been improved upon, and in the end, that's all that matters.

Within The Ruins seems to be another one of those would-be metalcore bands that likely got tired of the widespread conventions of the genre, and instead got trapped in the conventions and formula of prog metalcore, a style shared by other more established acts such as Between The Buried And Me, and Becoming The Archetype. Compared to their earlier stuff 'I would say that 'Invade' takes a slightly more experimental edge, although as is evidenced by the campy aesthetic of the album cover, they still have that deathcore sound in their music. For some, that may not necessarily be a bad thing, but I'll have to say that- putting it diplomatically- I prefer Within The Ruins when they are doing their technical thing, rather than plodding along with their chug-chug antics.

The instrumentation and musicianship has been sharpened since their previous outing, and I'm even hearing some stranger sounding ideas where they are dabbling around with out-of-tune leads and such. The drummer's unrelenting style still somewhat annoys me, but even that's been improved upon. Really, the only thing about Within The Ruins which doesn't seem to be open to much change are the vocals, and they are also one of the less glorious elements in the band/ Although they are standard for the style, they are flat and dry and while getting that sense of primal anger and 'oomph' across, I don't find them enjoyable on a musical level.

Within The Ruin's greatest weakness always has been, and remains the dry songwriting, which never builds up to anything. The songs enter fast and angry, and they leave fast and angry. The static trend of the compositions really takes away much of the shock while listening to the technical riffs, because after hearing nothing but heaviness after a while, the ears of the listener begin to adjust, and soon it just gets monotonous. I really hope Within The Ruins works that out at some point, because from a technical standpoint, they are good to go. There just needs to be that one big push in the direction of good songwriting to get me liking what this band is doing.

WITHIN THE RUINS Creature

Album · 2009 · Metalcore
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J-Man
Creature is the debut full-length album from Within the Ruins, and it's also their first release for major extreme metal label Victory Records. Their first two EP's didn't do much to impress me, but nonetheless I gave Creature a few spins just to see if they'd made some improvements since their rough beginning. While a slight improvement over their previous two releases, Creature is still plagued by the lifeless compositions and generic stylistic traits that restrain my enthusiasm for this band in general. Within the Ruins certainly know how to handle their instruments, but I fail to find anything on Creature that strikes me as a worthwhile musical experience.

The music on Creature lies somewhere between deathcore, technical death metal, and melodic death metal. While Within the Ruins fails at sounding too different from the hordes of deathcore outfits on the scene today, their tech-metal edge does keep things more interesting than one might expect. The tech-metal portions are pretty dry and unmemorable, but I'd take them any day over the torturous one-note breakdowns and gang-styled vocals that Creature relies upon far too heavily. As a standalone technical death metal album, Creature may have been pretty interesting - those jagged transitions between sections and dreadful breakdowns really drag down my enjoyment, though. This album is honestly a mess from a compositional standpoint, and the entire lack of memorability and coherence is ultimately Creature's greatest downfall.

Though a flawed album in many regards, this debut isn't entirely without its assets. Within the Ruins are a group of impeccable musicians (especially in the guitar department), and Creature's blinding solos and furious start-stop dynamics show within minutes that these guys have quite a bit of experience at their respective instruments. The production is also pretty good, even though the drums sound too triggered for my liking.

Overall, Creature is more or less what I expected from a Within the Ruins album at this point - fantastic musicianship and quality production, unfortunately matched with lifeless compositions and unmemorable riffs. Hardly a rewarding musical experience in any sense of the word, the most I can give Creature is 2 stars. If Within the Ruins honed in on their tech-death metal side and ditched the sterile songwriting, they may have a lot to offer - until that happens, you can easily put them in the overwhelmingly large category of deathcore bands that simply fail to deliver.

WITHIN THE RUINS Empires

EP · 2008 · Metalcore
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J-Man
In 2008, American technical deathcore act Within the Ruins followed up their rather weak debut EP with Empires. Also released on Innerstrength Records, this EP showed the band with a few slight improvements to their core sound introduced on Driven by Fear. Empires has a few more interesting tech-metal moments than their first effort, and even though the overall atmosphere is still pretty generic and sterile, Within the Ruins had made a step forward with this outing. I really wish the band would've done without the boring one-note breakdowns this time around, but there's still enough mildly interesting moments to keep Empires from being completely disposable.

At its core, Empires is virtually the same style we heard on Driven by Fear. That means you should expect fairly by-the-books deathcore with an additional technical edge. Fortunately, the tech-metal edge has been expanded upon slightly this time around, and it replaces a few of the previous EP's more horrific aspects. The wretched clean vocals are hardly found on Empires, and even though there are still far too many uninspired breakdowns here, they are less frequent than they were on the debut. The tech-metal aspect still isn't very remarkable, but at least it holds my interest more than boring deathcore breakdowns. The production has also been improved on Empires, and this sounds much more like a professional release than Driven by Fear.

Empires is a pretty substantial improvement over Driven by Fear, but it still isn't enough to really blow me away. Within the Ruins simply don't possess memorable songwriting tools, and their frequent 'default to breakdown'-styled compositions fail to come across as more than a mere gimmick. The musicianship and production are very strong, though, so 2 stars are pretty fair for Empires. Even though this isn't a particularly memorable effort, it may be worth a look from fans of Within the Ruins and deathcore in general.

WITHIN THE RUINS Driven by Fear

EP · 2006 · Metalcore
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J-Man
Before being signed to Victory Records and becoming one of the world's most popular technical deathcore outfits, Within the Ruins released two EP's on Innerstrength Records. Driven by Fear is the first effort from this American five-piece, and it was released in 2006. Even this early in their career, Within the Ruins were a group of highly proficient musicians with a knack for creating very technical and demanding deathcore music. Even though they would improve their craft even more over the course of the next few years, Driven by Fear shows a talented young act that (unfortunately) comes across as rather generic and sterile in my eyes. Within the Ruins has never been a band to really impress me, and even though their sound is more technically demanding than your average deathcore act, it hardly differentiates from the lifeless sound that plagues the majority of the genre. For my money, Driven by Fear is an entirely disposable release that's only recommended to die-hard Within the Ruins fans.

The music here is a mix of deathcore, technical death metal, and few occasional touches of melodeath. I've said before that Within the Ruins is fairly standard "chug-chug-chug" breakdown-driven deathcore with a few wanky guitar sections for additional technicality, and even though that isn't entirely true, the music on Driven by Fear does come across as derivative and pretty uninteresting. There are a few decent riffs, but the songwriting just isn't that powerful or memorable. I find myself begging for this EP to end about halfway through; definitely a major issue when the product in question is under twenty five minutes. The production is also a lot less polished and professional than some later Within the Ruins efforts, and even though it's still competent, it sounds pretty dry and lifeless to these ears.

While not without its assets, Driven by Fear is a pretty unessential release in my opinion, even within the rather weak discography from Within the Ruins. Strong musicianship does not necessarily make strong music, and the lifeless compositions and generic deathcore approach exemplified on this effort are pretty good evidence of this. Maybe if the band ditched the sterile breakdowns they would impress me a bit more; whatever the cause for my distaste, I've yet to be impressed from this American outfit and this debut EP hasn't changed my mind. 1.5 stars are deserved for the quality musicianship alone, but this isn't one I'd easily recommend. The band's full-length albums are (slightly) better if you're still interested in checking these guys out.

WITHIN THE RUINS Omen

EP · 2011 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Omen is a rather interesting EP from American technical deathcore act Within the Ruins. Rather than filling the whole release with original material, the band has decided to cover two songs from artists that I wouldn't have previously associated with them - "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas and "Fight Fire With Fire" by Metallica. Interesting picks for this hyper-technical deathcore act, indeed. I'll say right off the bat that, despite their unique approach to these iconic tracks, their versions are disappointing, to say the least. The band's original compositions aren't a whole lot better, either. My biggest issue with Within the Ruins has always been their focus on technicality over good songwriting, and that's as apparent as ever on Omen. A decent purchase for fans of the band, but completely unessential for everyone else.

The music here is exactly what we've come to expect from Within the Ruins over their previous few releases. Standard "chug-chug-chug-breakdown" deathcore with a bunch of wanky guitar sections added for additional technicality. The original compositions are slightly more interesting than the unbearable version of "Carry on Wayward Son", but their take on "Fight Fire With Fire" is probably the most interesting thing here. Not by much, though - I'll take the Metallica version any day of the week. The only saving grace for Omen is the excellent musicianship - these guys are some damn good musicians, and their technical abilities are highly admirable. I just wish they would focus a bit more of that talent on writing some memorable songs...

I wasn't a big fan of Invade from last year, but Omen is a step down in quality from that album. Within the Ruins have tons of potential to become the most powerful force in the deathcore scene, but their seeming inability to write memorable songs really serves as a major setback. Fans of the band and deathcore in general may find interest in Omen, even though I can certainly think of a few deathcore albums from this year that are much more impressive. 1.5 stars are the most I can give here.

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