Rusty Pacemaker – Ruins (2015)

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Hailing from Austria, today we have a very unique release from an artist called Rusty Pacemaker. In “Ruins”, this one-man outfit delivers 53 minutes of very diverse music that blends Gothic Rock/Progressive Rock/Doom Metal with heavy atmospheric elements. Reminding us of bands like Yearning and some of the stuff on Holy Records back in the early 2000’s, this is a release that takes a few spins to fully sink in.

Opening with a very somber atmosphere in “Ruins”, the mood is set quite mellow and very mysterious. As Rusty’s vocals appear, the vibe shifts into a more Gothic Rock/Metal atmosphere, with very well crafted guitars, but somewhat odd vocal melodies. Moving into full-on H.I.M / To/Die/For territory, “Made of Lies” is quite straightforward and catchy, while being quite consistent with one genre. The use of female vocals on “Ocean of Life” greatly adds a different dimension to the band’s sound, making it more dynamic and engaging.

A personal favorite has to be the mysterious “Night Angle”, a song that again features female vocals and have a very Doomy atmosphere. Continuing into Doom Metal territories, “Candlemess” is a solid melancholic Doom hymn filled with weeping guitars and interesting vocal arrangements. It is quite evident that Rusty’s vocals are the reason people will either hate or love this release. On one side, they are quite unique and fit the odd music perfectly, on the other side, they are all over the place and sound weird at times, it all depends on your level of curiosity and weirdness. Featuring killer riffs, “Matter over Mind” is another favorite song as its features a very engaging opening section and some brilliant melodic passages.

Closing this album on a very Doomy note, “Pillow of Silence” is another very atmospheric Doom track that is quite elaborate and entertaining. Overall, “Ruins” is an album that features tons of great ideas and some interesting song. However, it feels that Rusty Pacemaker is still looking for its own identity and hasn’t managed to decide which style to really focus on. While we enjoy such a diverse and unique release, if you like more linear and predictable music this might not be completely up your alley. If you like weird and experimental stuff that is both atmospheric and catchy, this is an album that should be in your collection.

Band: Rusty Pacemaker Album: Ruins

Label: Solanum Records

Release: 2015

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Genre: Gothic Rock/Metal / Doom Metal

Country: Austria

Rating: 82/100