As extreme metal pushes the envelope more, with black metal bands becoming more evil and satanic, and death metal bands becoming faster and heavier, it is hard to get attention without some sort of characteristic that makes a band or record stand out. Ruin, having been around since 1990 before disappearing 1 year later and only to reemerge again this year, is one such act. With the lineup of the band being shrouded in mystery, and a brand new demo only 24 years after their previous release, it is hard to resist the temptation to find out what Spread Plague Hell sounds like.
Cliche as it might be, Ruin kicks off Spread Plague Hell with fitting Gregorian Chants, and while it may sound hauntingly beautiful, one familiar with such genres instinctively knows the onslaught that usually follows. Ruin does not disappoint in that department, and from the first riffs that hit the listener, one is treated to a crushing dose of dark, blasphemous death metal. The almost doom pace that Ruin goes at on Perverted Lunacy, and that deep vocals of Mihail reminds one of Finnish death metal acts such as Convulse, Abhorrence and the likes. But the sudden transition in the middle of the track and the increased intensity brings to mind the works of Archgoat, aided by that suffocating atmosphere.
Despite the seeming similarity between all four tracks on this demo, closer listens shows the bands displaying different styles on each of the track. For instance, there are some death ‘n’ roll stylings on Massacre of Flesh and Bone, with the d-beat styled drumming of David on the track, while And Soon the Darkness would have fit into any classic death/doom records. There were even some Sabbath-inspired riffs that could be spied on the track. Yet the band manages to keep the themes of musical violence throughout, not unlike the works of filthy black/death bands such as Morbosidad or Embrace of Thorns.
Sound samples are also utilised effectively and rather generously on the release, often as transitions between tracks and introductions to the next dosage of battery that Ruin was about to place upon the listeners.
It took 24 years for Ruin to decide to reform and put out a new release. With Spread Plague Hell let’s hope the wait for the next round of assault won’t be that long of a wait. – (heavymetaltribune.com)