Ruacunt - Soul Depletion Hymns (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Soul Depletion Hymns (2011)


Say what you will, but at least Ruacunt have balls. On Soul Depletion Hymns, they take a lot of dares that most bands would shrivel up over. While the experiments don't always work, at least they are nasty.

For the most part, Ruacunt vaguely operate in what would be called post-punk. The band turn their instruments up to eleven so that their recorders mainline mostly white noise while they charge forward in a droned, feedback-covered wall while screamed vocals seep through the back end. There isn't so much notes or music in these recordings as massive waves of shrieks and amplifier cracking.

It's challenging music for sure. But the sheer abrasion of the music is somewhat tempered by the techno and general keyboard theatrics the band seemingly arbitrarily drop in at random points. But the music is so lo-fi that it rally mostly sounds like a toy keyboard being run through the trash compactor, and really, that's probably what the band was going for.

Because the music is so random and so abrasive, it doesn't become boring because there's so much chaos, there's no time for the band to establish a route pattern. But while it's not boring, it's not necessarily interesting either. If anything, this music is a pummeling for the sake of pummeling and one wonders if the band really is trying to push the envelope of discordant music or if they're seeing if people will take the bait. Swans made nasty music for the sake of nasty music too, but at least they withdrew on the attack sometimes, and there seemed to be planned waves in their sonic assaults. Here, there is just pain. Certainly, the band have the tools to make some really interesting, aggressive music, but they'll have work to harder. Ambition, be it genuine or the foundation for an anti-joke, in of itself doesn't make music enjoyable, but it does make it unique.