AlbumsNovember 29, 201112,673 views

Ruiner Hell Is Empty


01. I'm Out 02. Dead Weight 03. Two Words 04. Part One 05. Part Two 06. Convenient Gods 07. Meat 08. Loneliest of Hearts 09. Committed 10. Solitary
2009 Bridge Nine Records
Our score 7

by Nick
11/12/2009

There's a lot to like about the Ruiner formula. While it doesn't necessarily put pressure on the hardcore genre's limitations, the Baltimore group's ability to rip through short, fast, and memorable anthems is certainly worth noting. Couple that with some impressively apathetic and cynical lyrics and you've got an extremely capable modern hardcore band on your hands. As for the differences between Ruiner's debut full-length, Prepare to Be Let Down, and Hell Is Empty, it's clear that the guys are starting to stretch themselves creatively, resulting in slightly longer tracks with a touch more variety. Brevity is still the name of the game here, but a few more songwriting tricks -- the lengthy bass intro of "Part One" or the slower guitar hooks in "Convenient Gods" are both great examples -- allow the band to develop a few individual tracks into something a bit more expansive than their standard 90 second, balls-to-the-wall recipe. Some praise is also in order for Rob Sullivan and his ability to deliver an abundance of sharp, poignant vocal lines over the course of the record. When nailed rhythmically, excerpts like "Hello you fuckers, you assholes, you social rejects" in "Two Words" and "I was born a fortunate son / But I learned early on if you want to live you got to suffer / You got to be willing to bleed" in "Dead Weight" are both catchy and instantly memorable. At the end of the day, there's just not a lot of differentiation in the instrumentation of the middle 80% of straightforward hardcore bands, so having a guy like Sullivan contributing quality lyrical content is a big plus. From a high level, even though Ruiner's Hell Is Empty is an extremely solid record that shows some good progression since Prepare to Be Let Down, it probably isn't going to blow the minds of any groups outside of the enthusiastic Deathwish/Bridge 9 demographic. But hey, that's not really a knock in any way, as the band's obvious aptitude for hardcore fundamentals suggests that they're perfectly happy in the genre in which they operate. If you're into crisp sounding modern hardcore, this is right up your alley. Bottom Line: Hell Is Empty is another collection of fast, cynical hardcore from Ruiner. Even though it's not necessarily pushing the boundaries of modern hardcore, it is still a great showcase of their musical growth since Prepare to Be Let Down and a good example of the genre's offerings. Fans of intelligent, well-executed hardcore will love it.

15 comments

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truthsayer_ 11/12/2009 5:29:49 PM

Good review. Told me exactly what I needed to know.


Fur_Beach11_ 11/12/2009 7:17:02 PM

f*cking snore. Modern life is war is better


Jake_ 11/12/2009 7:37:08 PM

I dig this album a lot. I like the raw sound and the lyrics are sweet. "Hell is Empty" so true!


LEX_LUGER_ 11/13/2009 12:37:35 AM

where does the comparison between mliw and ruiner come into play exactly?


xote_ 11/13/2009 1:56:55 AM

God damn, ANOTHER 7/10! Decent band. Baltimore Rep!


j0nes_ 11/13/2009 12:07:27 PM

boo. hiss. boo. boring f*cking band.


Walter Cronkite_ 11/13/2009 12:10:43 PM

Nick gives another 7/10. Shocking.


imareader_ 11/17/2009 2:45:00 AM

shit gets my booty shakin' and my head noddin fo sho momf*ckerz.


Godfather._ 11/17/2009 10:16:09 AM

I regularly stick long skinny objects into my jerk.


JudJudJud_ 11/18/2009 11:18:40 AM

It's probably just a coincidence that most of the albums Nick reviews are just "pretty good," hence the 7/10.


Old Spice_ 12/5/2009 7:36:43 AM

I'm a man. And I smell like a man. But sometimes I like to smell like a different smelling man. Point is, men need a variety of scents, and Old Spice makes a variety of scents. But I don't use them, because I'm a woman. JUST KIDDING! I'm not a woman, I use all of them. Because... I'm a man.


Frankie_ 12/5/2009 9:15:05 PM

Emmure had the best hardcore record of the year dammit.


anonymous 12/8/2009 2:07:41 PM

worst album they have made and the singers hair seems to be getting more red which makes me hate it more


anonymous 12/8/2009 2:08:13 PM

they should have recorded a bunch of another breath cover songs cause this band is a shitty over rated version of another breath


cory_ 5/8/2010 2:46:20 PM

another breath? seriously? you're a dumbass.