Gather - Beyond the Ruins (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Beyond the Ruins (2007)


Gather pose an interesting question:

Would a band with a great message and thought-provoking lyrics make you forget that their music is, well, boring? That's the situation with the California hardcore band that puts social issues above the tough-guy posturing that so many of their peers specialize in. The music is about what you'd find from a million other metalcore acts: scathing vocals and hard-hitting instrumentation to back them up.

That's not to say it's an unenjoyable sound; anyone who likes or has at one point liked Threadbare, 108, Skycamefalling and the like will be able to easily identify with the sound; it then simply becomes a matter of whether or not the individual still identifies with and enjoys that kind of sound.

So let's say, for the sake of presumption, that you still enjoy the hard-hitting metalcore sound. On that basis alone, Beyond the Ruins is solid in what it is trying to accomplish. "Crimson Dawn" harkens back to the days when metalcore was something revered, not something punchlines are made of. The rhythm is quick at first, mixing the slick chord progressions with some double bass that fits perfectly into the fold. The pace rises and falls numerous times throughout the three-minute duration, but the one constant is exactly what puts Gather above like-sounding bands in the first place:

The message.

A staunchly anti-capatalist message exists within "Crimson Dawn," and although the band can be criticized about being too idealistic for their own good ("Cages cut open in the night, animals run free for the first time, an act of love that saves lives / Corporations that once seemed untouchable are now exposed and vulnerable, HLS now on the brink of collapse due to uncompromising pressure from SHAC"), the underlying point is one that hopes for change, not hopes for destruction. Taking a stance like this is sure to turn as many people away as it will bring in, but if nothing else can be said about Gather, it's that they're not afraid to speak their minds.

And as I mentioned, a band that's willing to speak their mind will turn some people away. A band that's playing metalcore in 2007 will turn some people away. A mix of the two?

Not such bad results.