This relatively new Brisbane act has created a very solid heavy music release here. This album certainly ticks all the boxes, as far as the checklist for modern metal is concerned.

What strikes you initially is the quality of the production. It is very strong, clear and powerful without being too overwrought or overly slick. It strikes a very nice balance between the two, and the guitars are in your face, the drums are punchy and the vocals are just sitting above it all, just as they should.

The performances are strong, without setting the world on fire. But that’s totally cool, not everyone can be Gene Hoglan, Mikael Akerfeldt or Dimebag Darrell.

Then of course, is the make or break factor. The songs. These guys construct a solid tune, with strong dynamics and light and shade. They avoid the trappings of many modern metal acts, of trying to be too ‘relentless’ in their brutality. These guys know when to play brutally, and when to hold back, and it makes for more interesting, more varied listening. They also know the value of a good, strong melody, how this can lift a heavy song above a mere collection of heavy riffs, grooves and screams or guttural growls.

Ultimately, a lot of bands do these things, and a lot of bands – even just in Australia – are doing the groove-based melodic metalcore thing. Bound For Ruin need to find something a little extra, something that makes them distinctively them.

Whether it’s something percussive, a different vocal technique or excursions into another style of music, they would do well to find something along those lines. If they find that element, they could be well on their way to national and international recognition.

3.5/5 stars

BY ROD WHITFIELD

Oblivion is out now through Firestarter.

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