Album Review: Daniel Tompkins - Ruins
Reviewed by Neil Bolton
Before we go any further I must remark that this thing sonically sounds absolutely fantastic.
The thing I am referring to is a re-recording/reworking of Danial Tompkins’ 2019 solo album 'Castles'. This was Tomkins’ first recorded exploration of the pop rock electronic world and 'Ruins' is a re-recording/reworking of this exploration. The music was rewritten alongside producer Paul Ortiz (Chip Spanner). They have stuck with the lyrical and conceptual ideas of the original album, and the rewriting of the music was to add some more aggression and darker tones to the source material. It was felt that with new music and the addition of Tompkins’ aggressive and clean vocal style the album and track names should be re titled as this is essentially a new album.
If you have read that, and are now now expecting a black metal version of 'Castles', you will be left wanting; but what you do get is a beautifully sounding record, with incredible production. The opening track, 'Wounded Wings', begins calm with Tompkins’ voice floating on top of the music until he kicks in properly. His vocal talents are already established and this does nothing at all to diminish this belief. The pop element is still prevalent but is now more diluted by rocky guitar sounds and riffs carrying the tune out along with the floating chorus.
The title track has a keyboard and drum percussion sitting nicely under more of the impressive vocals, hinting more at the aggression mentioned earlier. It still leans towards the electronic pop sound more than metal, but then Tesseract are never just metal. There are a couple of collaborations on this album, not least to mention a Mr. Matt Heafy from Trivium. The two are good friends and Matt says he was honoured to be featured on this album.
This wonderfully sounding album, on the lighter side of the heavy metal music spectrum, should still be very much in the remit of any open minded metal fan.