Review: In Ruin - Seeds of the Past (2004)


artist: In Ruin
release: Seeds of the Past
format: CD-R
year of release: 2004
label: Bunkier Pro­duc­tions
dur­a­tion: 30:06

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

This was released long ago, and I thought that I would shed some light on it now when In Ruin has a new album com­ing up, finally after years of delay. In this digi­pack you can actu­ally read that the “debut album is due to be released in late 2004.” And I’m writ­ing this in 2008… The debut album is com­ing, and Seeds of the Past should actu­ally be con­sidered a demo with some addi­tional mater­ial.

Not many have heard In Ruin and quite few have heard ABOUT In Ruin. A pretty com­mon mis­take you hear is that this is a total :Of The Wand and the Moon: rip off. Sure, there are strong sim­il­ar­it­ies, but every band has their influ­ences and espe­cially young bands don’t hide those with their own sound. What this has in com­mon with :Of The Wand and the Moon: is the often whispered vocals, the fas­cin­a­tion for runes, forests and mis­an­thropy. Besides that, I think In Ruin stands out in the genre, with some of the most min­im­al­ist neo­folk tunes ever. The first five songs do not con­sist of any­thing but an acous­tic gui­tar and vocals. Pitch black and really fine, with crys­tal clear chords and well-achieved vocals. These are the songs that should be the “demo” songs and the second one is the strongest one, that jumps from strummed to plucked very nicely.

What fol­lows next is a Cur­rent 93 cover: “Oh Coal Black Smith”. It dif­fers in many ways from the pre­vi­ous tracks, and shows another side of In Ruin. It has key­boards, drums and dis­tor­ted vocals in addi­tion to the gui­tar. It works. The two clos­ing tracks are songs recor­ded at the same time as the first five, but never made it into the ori­ginal edi­tion of the demo. I can’t see why they where shif­ted out. Both are two very strong neo­folk tracks and the elec­tric psych gui­tar solo in the last one brings it to a level of it’s own. I’m glad that Terry Col­lia decided to put these here for our pleas­ure.

I have listened to Seeds of the Past for years and com­pared it to all the new artists that popped up and In Ruin still stands as one of the most prom­ising young Amer­ican neo­folk acts. I am so eager to hear the new album, which should be released any­time now. If you get the chance to buy your­self a copy of Seeds of the Past, don’t hes­it­ate if you are, by any means, inter­ested in neo­folk. A clas­sic!

Reviewed by CME

Track­list:

1. Seeds Of The Past (3:41)
2. Dark­ness (4:42)
3. The Empti­ness Inside (1:40)
4. The Wildflower’s Song (3:31)
5. I Won­der (4:28)
6. Oh Coal Black Smith (3:53)
7. Twilight’s Escape (4:25)
8. Solace (3:49)