MUSIC: Creature Comfort


Within the Ruins [Victory Records, 2009]

In honour of the upcoming release of WITHIN THE RUINS‘ fifth full-length in March, this is an unpublished article I did for my high school journalism class ahead of their debut album in 2009. The band was my first proper interview as I was just getting in journalism and I had the pleasure listening in on practice for new songs. Bar some minor phrasing changes — I mean what was a thinking back then — and some dressing up, in its entirety is my article, “Creature Comfort”.

WESTFIELD, M.A. — On a narrow street within earshot of Westfield Vocational Technical High School, the murmurs of students heading home is replaced up to three times a week by the low rumble of hometown metal band Within the Ruins hard at work.

The five-piece quickly become an up and coming name in the Western Massachusetts scene after their inception in 2003 and were rewarded with a contract by Victory Records, a Chicago based label, in mid-2008 following the successful releases of Driven By Fear (2006) and Empires (2008).

Victory Records had high hopes the band would usher in a new sound to its ever-growing roster that had the likes of A Day to Remember, Between the Buried and Me, The Autumn Offering, and other marquee names already on it.

Within the Ruins would not disappoint.

Their debut with label entitled Creature will continue to propel the band — who escaped the barrage of metalcore in favour of a unique style of fast paced tempos, technical guitar riffs, erratic breakdowns and unpredictability — on an upward trajectory.

According to guitarist Joe Cocchi, each new song must be better than the last.

Whether it is getting caught up in the skilled chaos of the drums or flurry of lead lines harmonised to perfection, Within the Ruins gives listeners a reason to bang their heads.

When asked what they thought attracted Victory Records, Kyle Marcoux leaned forward in his chair pondering the thought.

“I’ll be trying to figure that out until the day I die,” he said before concluding, “Do enough hard work and hopefully it pays off.”

The exciting and goofy band, which practices in a make-shift room full of studio equipment attached to Cocchi and Kevin McGuill’s house, has come a long way and ensured to catalogued all the stories.

And it’s the experience that makes it all worth the travel, of sleeping on floors and van troubles.

“I can’t wait to go the mall and be like [makes sigh noise],” Drummer (McGuill) says as he imagines seeing Creature in stores.

The accomplishment of Victory Records has left the band wanting more: bigger tours, farther destinations and new audiences.

“It doesn’t really stop,” said Cocchi, who is also Within the Ruins’ main songwriter. “You always gotta keep trying to get better and further.”

Within the Ruins sets out on tour in March in support of Creature, which is available in stores on February 17.


MUSIC: Aversions Crown invades Earth with Xenocide


Aversions Crown [2017, Nuclear Blast]

Otherworldly has become synonymous with AVERSIONS CROWN, and Xenocide is certainly ‘out of this world’ heavy as the deathcore outfit continues to progress with new vocalist Mike Poida.

Right from the offering, AVERSIONS CROWN seduces the listener with furious drumming – provided by the technically gifted Jayden Mason – and ominous guitar leads in “Prismatic Abyss”.

Poida, meanwhile, showcases the range of his voice, which has added a completely new depth to the band because of his versatility. One of his biggest highlights of the album comes during “Ophiophagy” and is an aggressive overtone against a hauntingly clean background.

“I fear not your name.”

– Aversions Crown, “Erebus” –

Despite not abandoning what has worked on previous releases, AVERSIONS CROWN has built upon a sound that perfectly makes use of time and space. Further, the band continues to give fans fresh releases and lifts their feet off the ground with destructive breakdowns.

Xenocide is a can’t miss album that carries its listener on a defiant adventure of chaos and leaves them wanting more.