Album Review: Ruin Lust - Dissimulant
Reviewed by Sam Jones
This album, I picked, has been receiving a good amount of marketing and hype, none more so than through their record label, the enigmatic 20 Buck Spin who have garnered a reputation for stellar album releases, which brings us to Ruin Lust and their fourth full length album. Formed in 2011 out of New York, United States, Ruin Lust released their first Demo and album, self-titled, by 2013, yet not long afterwards the band fell apart. However, since their 2019 revival, the band have stormed onwards, seemingly making up for the lost time. Their rebirth year saw the release of their second record, Sacrifice, followed by 2020’s Choir Of Babel and, now, another three years on, Ruin Lust unveil their plans to unleash their fourth album: Dissimulant. Teasing listens showcase a brutal and intense experience so this was on the horizons of my attention for a while. So, let’s see what Ruin Lust bring to the table, and for the rest of their fanbase established and new to come, by the time September 29th rolls round.
To call this a ravenous album would be an astonishing understatement. There’s something truly macabre and piercing regarding the band’s performance, as they kick off this album with riffs and attitude and vigour that drips with every lick and strike they thrust upon us. It’s hardly anything new for the band due to their past catalogue, yet it still doesn’t make it any less relentless for us to experience. The band’s riff onslaught may have breathers spread periodically here and there yet that does nothing to quell the nightmarish vortex the band have in store for us. At little more than a half hour straight, Dissimulant is far from happy to take its time and as a result, it’s songwriting is brimming with fire and malice; you can tell from the way they play they’re aren’t willing to hold back for anything since each track has this peculiar wish to strive forwards no matter how badly we may want them to stew on a specific aspect of instrumentation or vocals.
Such is the band’s adherence towards speed, that each track essentially speaks for itself as the band forgo any conceivable notion of slowing things down. There are some moments of respite, where one does catch their breath, but more often than not, once a track begins, that’s it from beginning to end as Ruin Lust effectively make it their mandate to kill you in as many comprehensible ways as they may muster. The band’s strive to keep things moving forward isn’t merely enticing but necessary owing to the short runtime and various tracks Dissimulant has in its running. Ceaseless blast beats, strumming that would surely induce carpel tunnel syndrome and demonic vocals that conjure fantasies of evil, this is a record that flings your hand aside and shoves your face deep into the wall and continues to pummel it there. Yet, there are sequences where the riffs become a little more fleshed out, rather acting like riff bridges connecting one section of a track to another; these pieces may let us breathe some for a bit but the band refuse to lessen the intensity their performance possesses.
The production rendered for such an album is interesting, for its something that wouldn’t be amiss within a cavernous record like Tomb Mold or Incantation, but here Ruin Lust apply that concept and choose to chuck their maniacal, blitzkreig-paced songwriting into it. Instead of a crushing, monolithic album tone, the band craft a soundscape that’s seething in ferocity and possesses a weight that, whilst altogether not as mountainous, still permeates all the mass of interstellar objects upon our shoulders. Perhaps it’s a mercy this is only a short album, for the sheer might Ruin Lust throw at us is immense and anything longer than even another ten minutes thrown onto the end may have been too much for our senses to accept. But it’s fascinating to see a band flip the expected style such a production would infer; the cavernous, echoing mix gives this record a size that helps its malicious riffs find their target but it feels like we can feel their sound bouncing back off the record’s walls towards us again. It keeps the record within scale and helps round out its dimensions.
Other than the guitar work, the next most destructive element of this album, hands down, has to be the drumming. I love how, in spite of the sheer chaos this record throws up instrumentally speaking, the drumming is still able to strike through the veil of everything that’s being thrust at us to find its target. In the same vein as the riffs, the drums have been rendered with a clean mix that’s focused towards clarity than a polished aesthetic. Cymbal strikes are wondrously clear, you can almost hear the sound waves emitted from their strikes and when they’re then coupled with blast beats easily struck to break numerous road speed laws, we’ve got a drumming presence that does nothing but rattle our spines to the point of whiplash. It’s like the band have our shoulders at arms length and just shake us back and forth for a half hour uninterrupted.
In conclusion, Dissimulant is one furious album. This is a record that will easily come to the decision that your teeth belong not in your mouth, but copiously smashed to ruin upon the floor. For more than thirty minutes straight, Ruin Lust sledgehammer us over the heads again and again with all the force they can muster; it’s a brutal and bludgeoning volley that hits us, then keeps hitting us. By the time we’ve reached the album closing track, “Chemical Wind”, our ability to receive such an assailment is reaching its limits and it’s only fitting the band slow things down to truly let the feeling of that final assault settle in. Dissimulant doesn’t care who you are, what you’ve accomplished nor what you may have been expecting from it; grevious bodily harm is it’s sole, complete focus and I’d argue the band did a cracking job at ensuring the production and songwriting matched that sentiment perfectly. It’s more than worth checking out and, if you like what you hear, no doubt the band’s back catalogue just as nitrous.