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Within the Ruins - Driven by Fear CD (album) cover


Within the Ruins


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

1.49 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars Before being signed to Victory Records and becoming one of the world's most popular technical deathcore outfits, Within the Ruins released two EP's on Innerstrength Records. Driven by Fear is the first effort from this American five-piece, and it was released in 2006. Even this early in their career, Within the Ruins were a group of highly proficient musicians with a knack for creating very technical and demanding deathcore music. Even though they would improve their craft even more over the course of the next few years, Driven by Fear shows a talented young act that (unfortunately) comes across as rather generic and sterile in my eyes. Within the Ruins has never been a band to really impress me, and even though their sound is more technically demanding than your average deathcore act, it hardly differentiates from the lifeless sound that plagues the majority of the genre. For my money, Driven by Fear is an entirely disposable release that's only recommended to die-hard Within the Ruins fans.

The music here is a mix of deathcore, technical death metal, and few occasional touches of melodeath. I've said before that Within the Ruins is fairly standard "chug-chug-chug" breakdown-driven deathcore with a few wanky guitar sections for additional technicality, and even though that isn't entirely true, the music on Driven by Fear does come across as derivative and pretty uninteresting. There are a few decent riffs, but the songwriting just isn't that powerful or memorable. I find myself begging for this EP to end about halfway through; definitely a major issue when the product in question is under twenty five minutes. The production is also a lot less polished and professional than some later Within the Ruins efforts, and even though it's still competent, it sounds pretty dry and lifeless to these ears.

While not without its assets, Driven by Fear is a pretty unessential release in my opinion, even within the rather weak discography from Within the Ruins. Strong musicianship does not necessarily make strong music, and the lifeless compositions and generic deathcore approach exemplified on this effort are pretty good evidence of this. Maybe if the band ditched the sterile breakdowns they would impress me a bit more; whatever the cause for my distaste, I've yet to be impressed from this American outfit and this debut EP hasn't changed my mind. 1.5 stars are deserved for the quality musicianship alone, but this isn't one I'd easily recommend. The band's full-length albums are (slightly) better if you're still interested in checking these guys out.

J-Man | 1/5 |


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