Project Ruins, the conception of David Beaumont, is a noteworthy accomplishment for an important and peculiar reason. The project, "band," and music, was crafted totally through online collaboration. The four members, Jeff Dunne from California (v), Zack Uidl from Illinois (g), Mike Garrison from Texas (b), and Beaumont from the UK (d), have never physically met, played, or practiced together. The idea developed when Beaumont, who was studying for a sound engineering degree, needed an academic project. His thesis questioned "how advances in technology and software have allowed musicians to successfully record and collaborate from home, irregardless of location." Many musicians responded with Dunne, Uidl, Garrison with Beaumont being the final four. The result is a meticulous work of melodic and progressive death metal.
Seems that Beaumont has proved his thesis. The heavy metal found in Project Ruins is creative and entertaining with measures of thrash and traditional melodic heavy metal in a progressive package. Zack Uidl is a sensational guitarist and, if you like his work here, you should check out his Thoughts Betrayed project with Dave Cardwell. However, Project Ruins fits the death metal motif thanks to Dunne's vocal style. Herein lies the problem, and demonstrates how death metal vocal style adds no artistic value to music if they are the predominant presence.
Dunne's growling vocals are so oppressive and relentless throughout Project Ruins making it nearly impossible to appreciate the the great heavy metal here. I could barely get through the first several songs, and hardly through a minute of the rest of the songs. Conversely, somewhere Beaumont mentioned that his intention to write modern metal songs for this project, and so the use of death metal vocals makes sense. It's all the rage these days in modern metal, and appears necessary for market viability. Nevertheless, in the case of Project Ruins the vocals practically destroy the beauty of the music, proving that the death vocal style is not "metal." But, if you're into death metal vocal style, then Project Ruins is a rare gem, a true find, better than most any current death metal, melodic, progressive, or otherwise. So ends my editorial commentary.
Project Ruins is a unique, academic, and totally online project of inventive and entertaining melodic progressive death metal. The heavy metal is superb, but burdened by oppressive death metal vocals which unfortunately obscure this very fact.
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