Album Review – Voice of Ruin / Morning Wood (2014)

Time to have fun, bang your heads and get into circle pits with some crazy motherfuckin’ Death Metal “farmers” from Switzerland.

Rating4

VOR-MorningWoodAccording to the most reliable source of information in the world, the always detailed and precise Wikipedia, morning wood is “an informal term referring to the phenomenon of nocturnal penile tumescence (erection) during and immediately following sleep.” However, the “morning wood” I’m about to discuss here won’t probably have that effect on you, but instead some headbanging, beer drinking and an urge to get into violent circle pits. I’m talking about the new album by Swiss Death Metal band Voice of Ruin, affectionately called Morning Wood, the second in their career.

This crazy Nyon-based band was born in 2008 and since then have spread their explicit heavy music all over the world, releasing an EP named The Crash in 2009 and their self-titled debut album Voice of Ruin in 2011, leading them to share the stage which big names such as Entombed, Tankard, Fleshgod Apocalypse and The Black Dahlia Murder. Let’s say the whole idea behind Voice of Ruin is quite similar to what American Hard Rock band Steel Panther do, but taking it to the next level of heavy music, which is speeding up things a little more and using guttural vocals instead of high-pitched screams. In other words, they replaced that sexist Hair Metal for a more brutal Death Metal/Metalcore, or as Voice of Run say about themselves, “Horny Farmer Metal”.

But it’s when the intro Welcome To The Stud Farm starts that you realize the band is far from being a joke:  Voice of Ruin play a very professional and melodic Death Metal, with a sonority similar to bands like Arch Enemy and Carcass, which can also be verified with the first actual song of the album, Party Hard. Let the party begin with this fuckin’ heavy song and its smashing drums and melodic riffs in the background, while singer Randy Bull screams lots of “beautiful” words! However, things get even better (and heavier) with their tribute to the greatest anti-hero of all time, Machete Cortez. The excellent song Through The Eyes Of Machete is a fuckin’ furious track with more fast drumming and even some Black Metal moments, with highlights to the totally funny lyrics full of poetic moments such as “Even Steven Seagal can’t beat him at this game / Don’t hire a hitman: no one will ever hurt this name”. Check their official lyric video for it below and you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about.

The farm party goes on with Day Of Rage, a nice mix of modern American Thrash and Death Metal (with the lyrics this time having a regular message); The Rise Of Nothing, with its Melodic Death Metal riffs and totally “meaningful” lyrics; the title-track Morning Wood, a very Metalcore track, especially due to the clean vocals, with excellent instrumental; and another top moment of the entire album, the awesome Viols Désinvoltes:  not only the entire song is sung in French, which adds an extra touch of energy to it, but the excellent job done with the guitars by Nils Bag and Tony Cock is way above average.

VOR_picture_webThe following track, Cock’n Bulls, has a pretty heavy sonority with good riffs and guitar solos, and a very “romantic” music video tailored for the whole family, while the excellent instrumental Today Will End sounds very similar to what Arch Enemy enjoys doing and really pumps the listener up to the fuckin’ heavy and amazing Sex For Free, with its French and English lyrics and great chorus. This is a song that surely proves those farmers were born for playing Heavy Metal instead of just milking some cows in Switzerland.

Finally, we have what can be considered the band’s “circle pit anthem”, Big Dick, with riffs similar to some stuff from Austrian Death Machine, together with nice music breaks and guitar solos throughout the song; and the song Dirty closing the album, which despite its interesting lyrics (“Sadism and masochism / Perverse and obsessed / Lovers and romantics / Sodom and Gomorrah”) sounds a bit generic compared to the rest of the album. The album art showing a bull and some girls, created by Chromatorium, complements the message the band wants to send to the listener, with the bull representing their heavy music while the girls are portraying the lyrics.

In short, Morning Wood is a very fun album that will please most fans of heavy riffs, explicit lyrics and brutal vocals for sure, and also an excellent option for headbangers who are looking for new bands full of energy to get into some wild mosh pits with their friends. Furthermore, you can stream the entire album and check the album art and lyrics at Voice of Ruin’s bandcamp page, and of course purchase it if you enjoy what you listen to. And to be fair, those guys deserve a shot, especially because high-quality Death Metal from Swiss farmers is not something we can find everywhere we go.

Best moments of the album: Through The Eyes Of Machete, Viols Désinvoltes and Sex For Free.

Worst moments of the album: The Rise Of Nothing and Dirty.

Released in 2014 Tenacity Music

Track listing
1. Welcome To The Stud Farm 1:27
2. Party Hard 3:58
3. Through The Eyes Of Machete 3:55
4. Day Of Rage 4:30
5. The Rise Of Nothing 4:30
6. Morning Wood 4:20
7. Viols Désinvoltes 4:17
8. Cock’n Bulls 3:27
9. Today Will End 2:41
10. Sex For Free 4:06
11. Big Dick 4:27
12. Dirty 4:09

Band members
Randy Bull – vocals
Nils Bag – guitar
Tony Cock – guitar
Erwin Van Fox – bass, clean vocals
Oli Dick – drums

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