Picture it in Ruins

Solipsism

01. ImmortaliTV
02. Chain Dragon
03. Recession
04. Time Vampire
05. Mass Affect

[06/28/11]
[Self-Released]

Metalcore is a stagnant genre.  So many bands have completely over-saturated the genre to the point where very little, if any, truly original material is being made.  However, for those lucky souls that decided to push the boundaries and make metalcore original and fun to listen to again, they will no doubt be considered front-runners of the genre.  And now, enter Picture it in Ruins, a progressive metalcore band.

The 25 minute EP waste no time on starting off on the right foot with “ImmortaliTV”, showing perhaps their main influence: Between the Buried and Me.  The lead that kicks it off is a clear BTBAM-inspired lick, and it sounds really good, and leads the EP into the correct direction that shows the group at their strongest.  The band itself sounds like a well-oiled machine, clearly in synchronization with each other; Instead of playing overly technical music for the sake of technicality, they’re playing for melody and sounds that are appealing to the ears, allowing for both easy and focused listening.

Even though all of the band members shine, it’s clearly the guitar that takes center stage on Solipsism.  In “ImmortaliTV”, the guitar tastefully plays backing arpeggios behind the vocals, creating a driving feeling, keeping the listeners attention.  The 2nd chorus of the track sees the lead guitarist playing an extremely memorable lead over the songs epic backing track and the vocalist’s brutal declarations.  You can tell that they are very emotional and honest about what they do.  Also, the solo in the piece is an absolute masterstroke, showing more of a melodic side whilst still being technical, but not overly technical.  The guitarist show their prowess and control of their instruments throughout the album, and it’s truly an experience.

However, just because I’m showing how awesome the guitar is doesn’t mean that the other members slack.  Quite the contrary, the drums and bass provide that extra flavor.  The bass is quite nuanced, occasionally matching the guitars lead playing.  The drums are extremely nuanced.  The playing is not super technical, but it’s definitely super tasteful.  The vocals are awesome.  The lead vocalist has a super wide range.  The vocals are, for lack of a better word, brutal, but with astounding clarification.  I didn’t need a single lyric sheet to comprehend what they were saying, which is also a great quality.  The vocals, in my opinion, are similar to All Shall Perish vocalist Hernan Herdida, and they contrast well with the melodic backing.  Production quality is top-notch.  Even with a passing listen, the album sounds like a great metal-album should.  The guitar tones are beautiful, the drums aren’t overly triggered, bass is punchy, and the vocals are at the perfect level in the mix.

The album goes along super smoothly, keeping the listener interested, until ending with closer “Mass Affect“.  This song is so goddamned good.  It brings the total atmosphere.  The intro is a delay-laden ride into complete bliss.  It definite brings the tension until the band goes in unison with the vocals in a way that totally blows your mind.  The song (and album) is catchy and memorable – a winning combination.

As much as I love this EP, it isn’t perfect.  The band throws in a couple of unnecessary breakdowns that disrupt the flow of the record a little.  Also, the band puts in an unnecessary happy, predictable part in the end of “Time Vampire” that I could’ve lived without.  However, these nit-picks are minor.

With this EP, Picture it in Ruins deserves every single ounce of recognition and praise that this EP earns them.  This is metalcore redefined; a better formula, in my opinion.  Every single ounce of this record is catchy and memorable.  If you’ve been looking for a more straight-forward BTBAM or The Human Abstract, you have your band.

Picture it in Ruins – Solipsism gets:

4.5/5

P.S.:   White Arms of Athena and Picture it in Ruins have toured regularly together, and the two bands pretty much love each other.  It’s no coincidence why both of their records sound fantastic.

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