Voice of Ruin is as determined as ever.
2023 marks not only the fifteenth anniversary of the Swiss band, comprising Randy Schaller (vocals), Erwin Bertschi (bass), Dario Biner (drums), Nicolas Haerri (guitar) and Darryl Ducret (guitar), but also the release of their fourth album, Cold Epiphany, on Tenacity Music.
Prelude To A Dark Age offers us a short but relatively dark introductory melody before the catchy riffs of I – The Vile Kings assault us by surprise. Saturated vocals join the rhythmic groove, sometimes complemented by elaborate leads and majestic keyboards, but the track breaks its regularity shortly before the final, which leads us into Bloody Salvation and its heady Old School influences. Efficient patterns once again meet harmonics, more discreet compared to aggressive riffs, but they’re always present to give life to this little touch of gentleness before charging in one last time to present Deathstar Rising, a track with more impressive guitars, which cheerfully dips into vindictive Thrash roots. The nuances come in the form of dark samples that give some of the tracks a theatrical air, then Unforgiven Sins grants us a few moments of tranquility thanks to a fairly calm introduction before exploding at full speed, letting the musicians run riot under a devastating double kick. The jerky rhythmic pattern occasionally lets keyboards and Ariel Magnane‘s backing vocals slow the pace, which picks up speed again with The Last Feast, between eruptions of raw violence and riffs packed with cutting harmonics. The choruses are always accessible, creating an interesting contrast before Cyanide Stone‘s hypnotic introduction leads to a solid basis, which is quickly brought to a halt by a new clean part. Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling, ex-Eluveitie) lends her voice to the musicians for two vibrant moments, then the band returns to full strength on Dreadful Tears, where we have sharp abrasive riffs, but also a darker break before a cutting chorus, strengthening the Old School roots again, which also run rampant on the strange Lustful Gaze, where spikes of technicality make an appearance to give the track its complex, breathless tones. The album closes with Cold Epiphany, which transforms its initial lament into a catchy rhythm where the leads become increasingly insistent, also encountering orchestrations before fading out.
Voice of Ruin applies a simple recipe: jerky riffs, sharp melodies and solid patterns created to break your neck. It’s impossible for Cold Epiphany to be bad, whether with modern or Old School influences!
Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band Voice of Ruin without using the usual musical labels?
Randy Schaller (vocals): Voice Of Ruin is a Metal band from Switzerland. In 15 years we released 4 albums and played more than 250 shows around the world. The best words to describe our music would be melodic, dedicated, powerful, dark, groovy.
How do you personally link the name Voice of Ruin to the band’s music identity?
Randy: Our music is powerful and intense and we think that our shows could be the best example of our band name.
The band’s fourth album, Cold Epiphany, is about to come out. How do you feel about it? How is the feedback?
Randy: Very excited. We worked so much for this album, we wrote around 40 demos and kept only the best. The first feedbacks are really good and it’s always exciting to see that the people understood what we wanted to do with this new album.
How would you sum Cold Epiphany’s identity up in only three words?
Randy: Cold, dark and powerful.
How did the creation process happen for Cold Epiphany? Did you notice some changes, compared to the previous release?
Randy: Directly after the release of Purge and Purify we started to write Acheron and it was 2 stressful years with a lot of shows and work for this album. We released Acheron in September 2019 and then the pandemic striked the planet. It’s very demotivating when you work really hard on a project which is destroyed by something you don’t have any control on it. We were really demotivated and we took a little break. At the end of 2020 we decided to work on a new album and to take our time to write the best songs possible. We started with 5 days and nights in a house (full of booze) and we wrote the 2 first songs. Between 2021 and 2022 we recorded around 40 demos and we started to record in September 2022. Cold Epiphany is also the third album with the same lineup and it’s always easier when you know how to work with your band mates.
What about the artwork, what were the guidelines and how do they fit with the music you created?
Randy: When we work with an artist we always give him total freedom. We think it’s the best thing to do. We sent the lyrics and the demos to Travis and we told him to do something related to it and as always he did an awesome job.
I noticed two guests on the album, Ariel Magnane and Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling, ex-Eluveitie…). How did you reach them, and ask them to participate in the album?
Randy: Ariel is the brother in law of our guitar player Nicolas. We crossed the road many times with Anna and when we decided to add a female voice on this chorus, we directly asked her as we knew her voice would perfectly fit on this part. We are very happy with the result.
To me, the band’s music sounds like wild and groovy effectiveness, whether it is in the rhythmic or on vocals, to which you pour some heady melodies. How do you achieve the right balance between all your influences?
Randy: Haha it’s a secret! Honestly we always tried to achieve this and I think this album is the best balance. So it took years to find the perfect balance.
Where do you usually find your inspiration to create music?
Randy: We find our inspiration in the everyday life and the events that occur around us. For the lyrics of this new album I wanted to tell stories about people who are going through difficult times in their life. Some stories are taking place in the past as others are inspired from an alternate reality. I’m very inspired by horror movies and I like to imagine myself in catastrophic and bad situations.
Do you have a favorite song on this album? Or maybe the hardest one to achieve for the album?
Randy: The hardest one to achieve was Bloody Salvation because we wrote different versions of this song and we were never happy with the first verse and then Nicolas found the perfect riff and everything was in the box. For me it’s also my favourite song.
Do you think you improved yourself as a musician and songwriter with this new record?
Randy: Not as a musician but as songwriters and as a lyricist.
I haven’t had the opportunity to see Voice of Ruin on stage yet, how do you feel when you play on stage? Do you have some special memories from playing live shows?
Randy: This is the thing we enjoyed the most. Our best memories are the first MetalDays and Sylak Open Air we played in 2018 and our first show in Nepal in 2018 for the Silence Festival in front of thousands of people.
Are there any musicians or artists you would like to collaborate with? Whether it is for one song, or maybe more.
Randy: Haha for me it would be Jonathan Davis from Korn… but I know it’s only a dream!
If you had to organize a concert for Cold Epiphany’s release show, which bands would you love to play with? I let you create a poster with Voice of Ruin and three other bands!
Randy: We just did our release show with Blown, a band from our hometown who’s been active for 25 years and it was a perfect fit. We like to play with friends because it’s always smooth and the after parties are always cool as hell.
Last and funny question: which dish would you compare Voice of Ruin’s music with?
Randy: A pizza because it’s very good and not to complicated to do but you can add a lot of different ingredients on it ?
That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
Randy: Thanks a lot to our fans for their support and we hope this new album is also the best one to your eyes.