RUINE – Révolte et Crânerie Paysanne (2022)REVIEW

It claws from the inside of the skull, the hollow scraping of auld n’ zeroed consciousness manifesting now as cold inaction long drowned and paled by the too-fast uproar of human social engineering technology. They whom would-be buried by the relief of their complacency now build unskilled hovel around the defeat of community aspirations, the most charismatic among our once faithful counter-cultural affect now regularly reveal themselves as shit-smeared mouthpieces for a complete loss of agency under corporate globalism. A running thread of anti-globalization and the “lost consent of the governed” makes its way through the personal, revolt-driven sojourn of Québécois black metallic post-punk duo Ruine‘s second album. Delivering their work with a humble yet sincere candor, these folks position themselves behind ‘Révolte et Crânerie Paysanne‘ with a passion as they call for insurrection, an decisive toppling of power by way of a revolution without a name. It is an experience uncannily true to the spirit of “Bon débarras“, a heartily shouted good riddance to the few whom oppress all.

Not to be confused with the nationalist (?) solo act of the same name who put out ‘Mémoire de guerre‘ in the 2000’s nor the World War I themed French group also of the same name, Ruine released their self-titled debut (‘Ruine‘, 2019) to some decidedly light public acclaim that I’d noticed, at least outside of some post-humous recommendations I’d gotten after giving high marks to 2020 records from Raspberry Bulbs and Wagner Ödegård, both of which bear a similar sort of mid-80’s post-punk/black metal influenced rhythm section and an dissociative early post-punk influenced tone of contempt. Coldly stated yet personal, existentially searching yet leaning nihilistic and set upon listeners with the suggestion of oneness on a peasant or folk level engagement — It was the right sort of dissolved spirit for their cause, one that’d been presented with a worthy charismatic flair for variety and ornately clangorous rhythms. All the more reason to be excited for the random inboxing of ‘Révolte et Crânerie Paysanne‘ a few weeks after its digital release, though this release is similar in style yet far more advanced in its conception and performances.

The goal of the artist here is subtly stated on paper yet boldly suggested in motion, a work which is capable of and experiencing a redirection its intended river of emotions and this is, per my paraphrased over indulgence, presented with not at all subtle bravado from the moment they slash open their own immensely tuneful innards. “Corps et âme” is our leading anthem, a Rope Sect level guitar tone belting out its dual-voiced melody direct from the hook which only manages to expand from that point, warming into chiming refrain and haunting reverb-barked and rasped manifesto. From there the mid-paced, dirging thread is largely set straight into “Regarde mes yeaux”, another intense and memorable piece at a danceable early Killing Joke-esque pace. Perhaps only because I’ve a few years of conversational French in mind this’d been one of the more poetically set pieces on the album for my own taste, but its use of keyboards and sort of deep-set almost funk scratched guitar accoutrement during certain parts lead to an undeniable “single”-worthy feeling. There is a real tumult expressed here, a theme of destruction and rebuild built musically and expanded lyrically later on. Of course there is a black metal component here beyond the lyrics and this is perhaps where Québécois black metal fandom will more quickly warm to this album compared to their first, which’d been less directly ‘fused with extreme metal guitar techniques, such as the tremolo picked swells that kick off “Ventilons la gouvernance” (see also: “Tous au front”). Needless to say each piece here is developed as a complete song, not a notion or a single technique explored but a tuneful statement in full, even the brief dungeon synth piece (“Le Boudoir”) has a ditty driving its advance.

Though fumbling through a track-by-track appreciation of their work might find some satisfying resolve on my part I’d rather emphasize that Ruine have focused in the exact right places for their marriage of black metal and dark post-punk, conveying a distinctly French-Canadian voice of rebellion while clearly having put a lot of work into their guitar performances and songcraft, melding the aggressive nuance available to their sometimes-ranting vocal performances with plenty of equitant hills and valleys to follow along the way, never forgetting to slash out a quick guitar line or shout-along phrase to ensure you’ve found your mile marker along the way, and want to return. I’d found my favorite moments hard to choose from the lot, having felt the most connected to their cause on “Les puissances d’argent” yet almost prone to gush of their dramatic indie rock momentum on pieces like “Por la guerre”, otherwise many of these elements do comingle within the appropriately grand finale of “Oligarque”. Anyhow, the major point to make is that this album has a lot of the same charm and devastated tonality of their first album but it is doubly “catchy” and managed to stick in my mind for about a month before I’d had no alternative beyond a recommendation. A high recommendation.

High recommendation. (80/100)

Rating: 8 out of 10.
TITLE:Révolte et Crânerie Paysanne
RELEASE DATE:February 26th, 2022

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