No disrespect intended but who’d have thought back in 1999 that My Ruin would still be a going concern in 2013, and not only that but also that they seem to be getting better with each album? Back in the dark days of the late-90s frontwoman Tairrie B seemed to be floating around from project to project, always with passion but seemingly with very little focus, and as nu-metal began to evolve from hot new trend to commercial acceptance it seemed that the Limp Bizkit‘s and Linkin Park’s of the world were going to leave the outspoken former Tura Satana vocalist trailing in their dust as chart success beckoned.
However, the divine Miss B (or Mrs. Murphy if we’re being accurate) has always had a knack for re-invention and after meeting guitarist and future husband Mick Murphy My Ruin was born and so began a stable career releasing album after album of quality metal that, stylistically, began in the nu-metal fallout but has evolved into a potent mixture of hardcore aggression, groove metal muscle and hard rock swagger that seems to have grown out of the band’s desire to keep things real and do things on their own terms without record label backing.
“The Sacred Mood” is the band’s eighth studio album and sees the band expanding on the slamming grooves that characterised 2011’s “A Southern Revelation”, albeit in a slightly lighter more accessible framework. Not that My Ruin have lightened up in any way, as opening track ‘Monolith of Wrath’ prove as Tairrie B’s spoken vocals explode into violent rage and the band – completed by bassist Luciano Ferrea (drums were handled in the studio by Mick Murphy) – back it all with a huge and heavy groove that’ll no doubt cause necks to snap when they play it live. But this pales when tracks like the irresistible ‘God is a Girl with a Butcher Knife’ kick in and the band explore the more rock n’ roll side of their sound, sounding more Motörhead than Machine Head.
Elsewhere, the slower ‘Del Riche’ adds a sinister edge and provides probably the darkest mood on the album, a mood that is lifted (slightly) by the jolting ‘Harsh Light of Day’ before closing the album with the metallised blues workout of Elvis Presley’s ‘Trouble’, which is surely a contender for replacing ‘Blasphemous Girl’ as their anthem, even though they didn’t write it. Despite the aggressive nature of their sound, it’s a relatively light-hearted end to the album and caps things off perfectly.
“The Sacred Mood” is a more enjoyable album than “A Southern Revelation”; still heavy and as angry as anything they’ve done before, only there seems to be something a little – for use of a better word – looser going on under the surface. Mick Murphy’s blistering guitar solos pepper most of the songs, adding an extra dimension that a lot of their earlier material lacked, and gives them a real hard rock edge, but the real star of the show is Tairrie B, whose throat-shredding vocals are as full of vitriol and heart as ever. It’s a great album and one that grows the more you listen to it, to the point where it’s probably safe to say that it’s their most all-encompassing album to date. Highly Recommended.