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DIGITAL RUIN

"Dwelling in the Out" (InsideOut Music America)
"EP 2002" (Self-produced)


EP 2002 (self-produced; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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A few years back, Digital Ruin's "Dwelling In The Out" made a big impression on me. The blend of progressive metal and slight industrial/electronica overtones won me over pretty quickly. So, a few weeks ago, I was saying to myself that I hadn't heard what Digital Ruin was up to (or whether they even existed anymore). Lo and behold, by checking out their website (see below) I found out that Digital Ruin did, in fact, exist although they'd changed their style.

Digital Ruin weren't kidding when they said they'd changed their style. Gone are the prog-metal leanings of "Dwelling In The Out" and a new-found modern metal style is in its place. The Digital Ruin website declares they've switched to a Sevendust type of sound - and they're right on the money.

However, guitarist Dave Souza can't outrun his past. The new Digital Ruin doesn't oversimplify its new songs by falling into the same rut as all the other nu-metal bands (remember, I said Digital Ruin's style was "new-found" not "nu"). The five tracks on this EP still have a quasi-prog, dark edge to Digital Ruin's music and that's the main thread of consistency from the old version of the band to the newest version. That dark edge is what attracted me to Digital Ruin in the first place. It's nice to see that it's still there despite the genre switch.

A change in the vocalist department will instantly alter a band's sound and that's somewhat the case here. New vocalist Jim Silveira plays a big role in the new edition of Digital Ruin by contributing as the band's producer as well.

Getting back to the Sevendust comparison, it's too easy to say that Digital Ruin have turned into clones of Atlanta's favorite band. "Imprison" sounds like it could be a track by Engine and other songs have hints of Korn's debut, classic metal vocal lines (almost like Rob Halford), and other alt-metal influences. "EP 2002" doesn't necessarily defy categorization, but it does a good job sounding unique even if Digital Ruin moved a little closer to the mainstream.

"EP 2002" is a solid five-track snapshot of the new Digital Ruin. It helped that I am a fan of Sevendust, even if I am not a fan of most modern metal bands, in my overall enjoyment of "EP 2002."

"EP 2002" was produced by Jim Silveira. "EP 2002" is a professional sounding recording and has the crisp, clear sound that should attract labels and producers in droves.

Digital Ruin is Jim Silveira on vocals, Dave Souza on guitars, Michael Keegan on bass, and Timothy Hart on drums.

For more information visit http://www.digitalruin.com


"Dwelling in the Out" (Inside Out Music America; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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Digital Ruin's sophomore release, "Dwelling In The Out," is a blend of progressive metal with hard rock toughness that isn't afraid to admit it has a human soul, albeit a worried soul. "Dwelling In The Out" is a refreshing break from the trendy crap that proliferates the airwaves these days.

The pivotal aspect of "Dwelling In The Out" is the rhythm guitar which anchors the band's dark sound. The attractive mix of challenging rhythms, classic metal overtones, and power metal influences are melded into a progressive, yet contemporary, approach that is refreshing. I hear a lot of Fates Warning in the application of rhythm guitar to the song's structures and "Rage For Order"-era Queensryche sounds bubble underneath the surface of each song's main riff. These interesting dimensions add to the claustrophobic nature of the disc - "The Agony Column" is a prime example of this. Sustained chords in the choruses of "The Forgotten" are like the bottom of a swirling vortex while percolating whirls and noises supplement the heavy, pulsating rhythm of "Machine Cage." Haunting interludes mark "Living For Yesterday" and "Night Falls Forever." 

Digital Ruin's subject matter deals with the search for meaning, leaving the past behind, the dire effect of cold and impersonal relationships, the loss of the moral center of society, and a fear of the obscure and unknown future. The lyrics are a cauldron of uncertainty and melancholic dread due to the absence of human emotion in modern life -  dark and moody stuff to be sure. 

The vocal inflections remind me of James LaBrie of Dream Theater and Ray Alder of Fates Warning combined into one neat package. "Adrift" and "Along The Way" are highlights of the vocal performances. 

The ten tracks on "Dwelling In The Out" stride forth with clarity of vision - futuristic prog-metal has never looked so bright. You will be seduced by "Dwelling In The Out." 

"Dwelling In The Out" was produced by Digital Ruin and engineered by John Grimes. The guitars are dry and crisp while the bass is propulsive. The keyboards bubble with intensity and the drumming is rhythmically adroit.

Digital Ruin are Tim Hart on drums, Mike Keegan on bass, Dave Souza on guitars, and Matt Pacheco on vocals and keyboards.

For more information, please visit http://www.digitalruin.com


Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2016 12:47:08 -0500.