Ruit Hora is not a complicated band to love if you have a propensity to enjoy surprises. Founded by Daniel Araya, Ruit Hora (Latin for time runs) is a Chilean band creating a unique sound, mixing the English doom school with projects of the likes of Ulver, Laibach, John Carpenter, or Ben Frost. Ruit Hora was initially a one-man band, but things changed with “Kainophobia,” as Daniel Araya (voices, synthesizers, drum machines) is joined by musicians Carlos Fuentes (effects and drum machine), Fran Muñoz (drums), and Pablo Selman (bass). The idea is that whatever they’re doing, they’re pulling it off perfectly.
“Kainophobia” is a curious but oddly efficient mix of raging black metal, dark electro, and, dare I, neo-classical synths. Charged with contrasts of light and dark throughout, the album is “a representation of the eternal dance between struggle, dance, and the fear of entering a transition stage, with the chaos and despair that we can face if we enter that dimension.“
The album consists of eight tracks (8 stages for me), and with every song, Ruit Hora creates an incredible musical setting and mood. “Kainophobia” (the fear of the new and unknown) opens with ‘The Fall.’ How can you tell if you obsessively listen to a song? ‘Cause, man, I’ve been struggling for more than 40 minutes to reach the second song. Apparently, there’s even a scientific term for your earworms or musical obsessions –the stuck song syndrome (SSS). The clean, marching, theatrical vocals are incorporated extensively through the various dark electro sounds vibrating with mystery.
Hooray for me for getting to ‘Transition Toward The Inevitable.‘ The second song becomes more consistent, conveying a lot of variety beneath the alternative dynamics. Beyond this, the track brings new gloomy sounds and growls to the table, attracting a somewhat cosmic atmosphere. There are distinct atmospheres on “Kainophobia,” and while Ruit Hora invokes new avant-garde, theatrical, and doom cliches of Arcturus and My Dying Bride, the band enhances their melodic hooks with lyrical eccentricities.
The doom-orientated sound of ‘Pazuzu‘ comes at a price. There is more gravity and more intensity than its predecessors. ‘Pazuzu‘ is dark in its structure, bringing a new sharpness to the album, with all the groaning vocals and ominous tones delivered on the track. “Kainophobia” takes on another nuance with ‘Broken Mirror, Broken Ego.’ The dark synthesizers hit different, and while they introduce more electronic influences on the track, ‘Broken Mirror, Broken Ego‘ gets dominated by a more extreme slab of metal, led by the magnificent vocals of Daniel. The song is both infectious and progressive, with cosmic wandering keys finding yet another way to articulate the nihilistic feelings of the end.
‘The Higher You Fly, The Harder You Fall‘ deals in emotion. On their 5th song, Ruit Hora gives us one of their sad, doom-ish moments – from the evocative, sorrowful and somber tone to constant vibrations and palpitations – taking a certain essence of My Dying Bride’s “Evita” album. Pablo’s bass and the hammering-like vocals add a lot of texture and heavy atmosphere to ‘What If Time Was Impartial.’ It feels like the tension between the sophisticated beats and intricate details makes “Kainophobia” such an efficient album. Dark electro elements are brought on the record once ‘Adrift‘ starts playing. In fact, the song blast off with the pompous oratory of black metal/doom and avant-garde, so for those wishing to hear more of the black metal side of things, ‘Adrift‘ delivers just that.
The album closes with ‘Kainophobia,’ conveying a strongly auditory impact and retro atmosphere with no voices whatsoever. The track feels like a sequence or soundtrack of a suspense movie or one of the ’80s cult thrillers. In moments where you’d expect momentum to gather towards an intense peak, the loops darken. At the album’s end, I find myself loving the band more than I imagined, as their rhythmic sensation and nuances immerse the listener in a unique sound experience.
Make no mistakes with this one; despite how darkish, electro and avant-garde the whole thing is, “Kainophobia” is surprisingly inspiring and comforting. While the atmosphere, instrumentation, and vocals are somewhat consistent, every track has something uniquely different to offer. Want more doom elements? Go for ‘The Higher You Fly, The Harder You Fall.’ Looking for dark electro, synth, or metal tunes? ‘Adrift‘ might be your call. Want a lot more cosmic atmosphere work? ‘Transition Toward The Inevitable‘ and ‘Broken Mirror, Broken Ego.’ Thrilling and suspense tracks? ‘Kainophobia‘ and ‘Pazuzu.’
“Kainophobia” possesses everything for an exceptional album: thematic substance, rich instrumentation, dark synths, great clean vocals and growls, theatricality, novelty, somewhat nostalgic sound, and fine production. If you enjoy avant-garde/synth/doom music, you owe it to yourself to buy this album.
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