Well just when I thought Dale Thompson hung up his gloves for good after Bride, he surprised me with the release of “Severity” with a new project called The World Will Burn. Partnered up with Alan Zaring, The World Will Burn, saw “Severity” became a surprise hit for 2016. It managed to rip its way up the top of the Amazon Hot New Alternative metal download chart, and if that was not enough it was able to maintain and stay near the top for months. It showed that the road of creating music for Dale and Alan is not over. As many of us by now know Dale Thompson is a name that is very synonymous when talking Christian metal. In fact I say if you don’t have a Bride album in your metal collection, it’s the poorer for it. Okay we going off course a bit here, “Severity” was a surprise hit for 2016, and with that keeping to formula “Ruination” is released unto the world following up on the back of the success of “Severity”.
Now you need to know one thing I have always liked about Dale Thompson and Bride is that there is an experimental edge to him and the band, and that has been transposed onto The World Will Burn, and what a perfect combination Alan and Dale make in achieving a sound that is somewhat a little different to the usual broth of metal bands out there. Right off the bat there is a sense of growth and depth with “Ruination” over “Severity”, and that is usually a good thing, especially considering the success of “Severity”. It’s that experimental edge and flavour brought together through the combined talent of Dale and Alan that make “Ruination”, with Tim Bushong who engineered and mastered RuiNation playing the guitar solos and adding bits here and there that assist in making this a unique and ground breaking release which shows one that you never too old to rock out, and make great music if you are, The World Will Burn. To put it simply, The World Will Burn are a unique alternative metal band that though staying true to the roots of the individuals in the band draw some modern influence creating a sound that is somewhat different to the norm. It’s that formula that made, “Severity” a success, and hopefully building on that, “Ruination” will follow the same trend. Part involved in that formula is that one has to realize that this is a global project, and I know all too well the dynamics of global projects since I have been involved in a few myself over the last couple years. So these guys never get to sit face to face with one another. It’s the whole back and forth thing, Alan sending his bits, then Dale doing his thing and then back to Alan, then to Tim and boom you have a cd, almost identical to the global projects I’ve been involved with. With today’s modern technology these kinds of projects are a lot easier to do, and to pull off something as worthy as this project is far more possible than even a decade ago. I had the privilege to connect with Dale a bit utilizing the modern technology of facebook and he told me that Ruination is probably the most relevant CD he has ever been part of. He continued to add that he attempted to hit on the themes of today in order for people to know they have a greater purpose. “I believe I am saying in my lyrics what must be said and what others have been thinking” – Dale Thompson.
Certainly if you are a Bride fan, then without a doubt you should get your hands on “Ruination”. For me Dale Thompson vocally is on top form, and I point this out, because when you have been singing like he has now for a couple decades your voice can take a beating, yet on “Ruination” the man is on form, and having a multi instrumentalist like Alan Zaring in the team, well it only solidifies the quality of the release. Alan Zaring is a great musician, and his talent helps add depth and explosive colour to the overall sound.
I like a song like, “We All Die Alone”, it sounds fresh and different and is not just a heavy riffed song, but has depth, colour and complexity to it. As I said there is an experimental edge to the band, and I think that formula works with great effect in, “Welcome To The Freak Show”. It’s hard to compare their sound to another band because of the experimental influence, which makes the album a very unique offering for any metal fan. You don’t have to be a Christian to enjoy this, it has a universal appeal, and great music is great music, right? Songs like “King For A Day”, and “Burn” for me have a twofold interest, musically and vocally, as they highlight the experimental depth, as well as the musical scope and grasp of the band. I think Ruination is a far bolder release than Severity especially in this regard. It’s in part that boldness of musical expression that makes this such an enjoyable and great release, and I found myself after a couple listens trying to dissect the soundscape as I was drawn in to explore the musical prowess at a deeper level. For some reason, can’t put my finger totally on it, but “What Comes Around” and “All Things” is possibly my least favourite tracks on the album, maybe its stretched my love for experimental/progressive rock just a little over the edge. This is just a personal thing. “All Things”…..really don’t know what is going on there, possibly need to sit down with the guys on that, but from a personal perspective it took away from the driving energy of the album though in a way “What Comes Around” and “All Things” do show that Alan and Dale are not scared to be bold with their creativity and song writing, even if it means dowsing it in experimentalism. The album ends with remixes of “Torment” and “Why” from Severity.
Overall Ruination has a greater experimental edge to it thus creating a sound and an album that is possibly be seen as a little bit more sophisticated as your usual metal band would put out. Throughout the album one can see this is a step up from Severity. What I like to is that it’s not over-produced retaining a certain rawness to it, which translates in enabling the energy of the band to be felt by the listener, and that is an important component in an album, to be able to communicate with the listener without compromising the heart and energy of the band, and I think The World Will Burn achieves this. Sure it’s not the perfect release, but is there really such a thing, I will say this, and it’s an excellent album worthy of putting hand in pocket and buying and supporting the band. This is something for the collector of heavy music. As per “Severity” I see “Ruination” as an important album in the heavy music genre.
One thing rings true after many decades of singing, Dale Thompson’s vocals still deliver. When I say this is a unique sounding release, and that there are ground breaking aspects of the album, especially musically, yet retaining the formula of severity, there is this undisputed Brideness that comes through because of Dales vocals, and in some ways anyone who has followed Dales career over the decades is in some way going to measure that timeline against his latest work. To be honest that’s a huge catalogue to measure up too. Yet I think Ruination in its own uniqueness and as a band as a whole are able to stand proud in this release as something totally fresh and new. It’s a step up from Severity, and we know Severity was a surprise hit. I think with these kinds of more sophisticated experimental orientated releases there are a lot more layers to them and certainly for me that equates to a longer shelf life.
So to close off, a quote of my own words earlier in the review, “The World Will Burn are a unique alternative metal band that though staying true to the roots of the individuals in the band draw some modern influence creating a sound that is somewhat different to the norm. It’s that formula that made, “Severity” a success, and hopefully building on that, “Ruination” will follow the same trend.”
Written by Donovan de Necker
01. Love To Hate
02. Welcome To The Freak Show
03. We All Die Alone
04. King For A Day
05. Child Of Tomorrow
08. Nothing At All
09. What Goes Around Comes Around
10. All Things
11. Torment (Remix)
12. Why (Remix)
Dale Thompson – Lead Vocals
Alan Zaring – All Instrumentation
Tim Bushong – guitar solos
“Severity” (2016) review
Record Label: Retroactive Records, March 2017
Video for: ‘Love To Hate’