Rueban – “Stronger Than Ever”


Stronger_than_ever-Rueban_ee3Rueban is the solo project of Rueban Issac who also provides drums and vocals for the alternative-metal band Onslaught.  Based in Hyderabad, India, Rueban previously released Indestructible in 2013. From their bio, the band cites influences from a Who’s Who list of NYHC bands and other legendary hardcore bands including Madball, Agnostic Front, Snapcase, Earth Crisis, and Hatebreed, while at the same time also including influences from other genres including Living Sacrifice, Helmet, Deftones, and Sevendust.  The goal of the band fits within the hardcore ethos of spreading a positive mental attitude (PMA), while also incorporating the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

A bit of feedback over the sounds of a tv preacher opens up the album followed by some chugga-chugga hardcore riffs in “Strength through Faith” in a song that sounds very much like something one would hear from a NYHC band.  Immediately, my thoughts turn to the vocals which, not surprisingly, do sound a lot like those from Rueban’s other band Onslaught but at the same time are mixed to almost sound like a sing-along in some parts.  Overall the general sound and tone are a bit different, maybe a bit too thin for the typically muscular NYHC sound.

Next up on the album is “Strong Tower” which sounds very much like something off the last Onslaught album, and veers quite a bit away from a resemblance to NYHC.  Lyrics are unabashedly Christian in nature. “Strength through Honour” continues with the alternative-metal theme, and unfortunately, mixes in some dj scratching effects and breakdown section that seems a bit out of place in the song and album.  Through “Strength through Perseverance” the same general sounds and song structures continue and the songs do tend to blend together due to their similarity.

“Shine”, “Strength through Love,” and “Skyward” change things up a bit to close out the album as they are slower in tempo, have extended sections of almost spoken sections in the verses and move away from the style of the earlier song on the album. In a way it seems as if these songs could be part of a separate project.

On Stronger than Ever, Rueban has provided a collection of songs that touch on several different styles and genres, covering old-school, metallic hardcore, to the more alternative metal/hardcore of bands like Helmet, and finishing off with songs that are more alternative/hard rock in nature, and through it all are strong lyrics centering on Christian themes.

Rating: 6/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Strength Through Faith
2. Strong Tower
3. Strength Through Honour
4. Scars
5. Strength Through Perseverance
6. Shine
7. Strength Through Love (Rhea Forever)
8. Skyward

Band Members
Rueban Issac: Vocals
Abishek Allapanda: Guitars
Emmanuel Ojo: Guitars
Shawn Vivian: Guitars
Stephen Rahul: Bass
Bobbin Jaydev: Drums

“Indestructible” (2013)
“Stronger Than Ever” (2016)

Record Label: In Presence Records, March 2016

Weblinks: Facebook / Bandcamp

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video below: “Stronger Than Ever” (Album Teaser)

Lyric video: ‘Strong Tower’


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