Hailing from one of the melodic death metal capitals of the world, Finland, Forte Ruin’s self-titled EP is the band’s first release. At its core, the EP is a solid effort that takes to heart the ideals of melodeath. On the surface, however, it struggles from the same problems that the subgenre faces: clean vocals. Combining harsh vocals with singing is almost never effective, and melodic death metal bands have a poor track record of doing it successfully. Forte Ruin is no exception. It takes their music from being aggressive and serious in tone, to sounding more like a metalcore or pop-punk band. It’s bad enough when clean vocals are unfittingly added to a song, but worse when they make the band fall outside the realm of metal. The bands that excel at combining these two sounds are the ones that use clean vocals to enhance the epicness of their sound (Wintersun or Ensiferum, for example).
The worst part about this is the fact that it hides what the band does well. One great example is near the end of “Alienated Humanity”, where there is some incredibly tasteful lead playing, aided by a fantastically clean tone. Another standout moment is the opening of “45 Days”, where the band’s growler unleashes a wicked scream amidst a flurry of double bass. This song similarly has lead playing that is a cut above what most other bands are doing (at least until it devolves into something weirder). These killer sections are by no means few and far between, but it is never long before the clean vocals come in and ruin (pardon the pun) things. And to be fair to their singer, he isn’t bad. He just kills the vibe of this style. Though I was never the biggest melodeath fan, I grew to appreciate it more as I explored it more. These days however, I find bands forget where the subgenre came from, and this ultimately hurts the experience for me.
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3.1/5 or 62%.
Written by Scott