Review: Menace Ruine "Union of Irreconcilables"


I don't write many reviews, because I don't know why anyone would care what I have to say, but I can't NOT say how good this album is. I posted the release of this just a short while ago, but now I've got it, and after a few very close listens, I feel like I am sitting on an album that should go down as a creative landmark in the history of metal...

I had high hopes for this record, because this band is truly an original, and their first three recordings have been pretty much in constant rotation. And no matter how many times I hear them, whenever I get done listening, I still feel like I've just heard something that no one has ever heard before. After their last album, The Die is Cast, I felt like they had perhaps reached the pinnacle of their artistic achievement, because I had no idea how they could do any better. What could they possibly add to their repertoire to advance their sound?

Well, I was apparently underestimating this band, as Union of Irreconcilables is not only a step forward for Menace Ruine, but seems to say that we should forget what we know about extreme music, as an entirely new era is upon us.



Now obviously, I have no idea what the band was trying to achieve with this record, and I won't pretend to, but when I hear it, it makes a clear statement that it's time to stop listening to Darkthrone and Marduk records, because while they may have some value in an entertaining or nostalgic sort of sense, they're really just rehashing one or two records that we've all heard a thousand times. When you play Union of Irreconcilables, I can guarantee that you won't get up feeling like you have heard it (or anything like it) before.

The record is really all over the damn place. It's as if you're about to be drawn and quartered by a thousand stallions (I realize that wouldn't be "quartered"...), but there is some mysterious force holding you together. That force, on this record, is the noise.

Sure, there are plenty of black metal bands using noise, and a few of them even do it well. But the droning noise on this record is above and beyond that of any other because while it may be harsh, it communicates so much more than that. In these walls of sound I hear sorrow and sadness, I hear angst and tension, I feel release and exhaustion. This record has every quality that one could want in a metal album - intensity, wondrous atmosphere, searing guitars, crushing percussion, amazing vocals, and superior songwriting. And - it's catchy as hell at times! (Go ahead, try and tell me that "The Upper Hand" isn''t sugary sweet... I dare you.) But somehow, amidst all those things, the droned-out noise is the glue here. It's the thing that will leave this record stuck in your head, and on your CD player (soon on your turntables).



I must be careful to say that Geneviève's vocals on this record are as seductive as ever. She was obviously great on The Die is Cast, but she's stepped it up on this one. While you may not always know what she's saying, you don't much care, because what matters is that she means it.

I've gone on long enough - but I'll leave you with this: Menace Ruine has crossed over from a band whose music I really, really love, to a band whose music now qualifies as religious experience.

Get your ass over to Aurora Borealis and buy this now.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Droned-out noise now that's what I like,seems to be now.Detritivore - Pakt, Aderlating - Dying Of Light, Black Boned Angel - The Witch Must Be Killed...Just a few gems released as of late.Highly anticipated,gotta get it now!

Maarten said...

How can I not buy it after reading this. Also loved their previous efforts and am very curious about hearing "Union of Irreconcilables".

Susana Quartin said...

Argh, I can't wait to receive my cd. Thanks for this review (I slighty hate you for getting it before me, tho).

Anonymous said...

I'm really looking forward to it. Is there going to be a vinyl release anywhere?

Krumbled Kookie said...

Yeah, vinyl later this year, from what I understand.

Custodio said...

"when I hear it, it makes a clear statement that it's time to stop listening to Darkthrone and Marduk records" I totally agree!!