Out with the old and in with the new. The saying may be common, but metalcore band Within The Ruins have set out to prove that it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for compromise. Much like their sound, a dynamic blend of metal and electronic, Within The Ruins are able to combine the best of the old with fresh twists on their latest album, Phenomena.
Their fourth studio album boats the same heavy gutturals and vigorous double bass pedal-driven beats as their last album, 2013’s Elite. Though there are some noteworthy changes that are immediately noticeable as many of the tracks are showcasing more frequent full tech breaks than before, most prominent in their first song “Gods Amongst Men.” While these breaks may stand out to longtime fans who are used to Within The Ruins’ more subtle electronic approaches, they are done smoothly and don’t feel disjointed from the rest of the song in any way.
However, not all of Phenomena is unexpected, as some of the band’s greater qualities still shine through. Within The Ruins have kept a hold onto their distinctive ability to provoke thought through their lyrics. Deeper meaning and complex questions have been present in their earlier music, and is most notable in their current track, “Sentinel,” as they question in uncertainty, “What really makes a man a man? Is it love? Loss? Or his will to survive?” Their pronounced mix of old and new allows Within The Ruins to continue growing, without alienating older fans. And if they stay on this track, they will only get better.