Ruins Cauldron

On the other side of the world, Cauldron was a 2008 release. For the rest of us, the second full-length by Tasmanian band Ruins took a little longer to arrive. Death-inflected black metal gives the album its framework and texture but it's the melodic riffs that suture these elements together. On the surface, Cauldron is all buzz and drone, drenched in familiar atmospheric reverb, but stopping well short of a cavernous echo. Just beneath, it's propelled by a driving momentum and punctuated by moments of blasting intensity. The combined result is murky but surprisingly fluid, sonically deep and has few raw, rough edges. The fiendish miasma suffers only a brief interruption — a sampled interlude about god — but even so it seems to end too soon. At seven songs Cauldron feels like merely a tantalizing taste. (Moribund)