On their website, Lords of Ruin boldly proclaim “For many years now, metal has taken a turn into a mega-fast, double bass, growling, cookie-monster type of a thing. Those elements are nowhere to be found here with Lords of Ruin.” Right out of the box on their EP Life Is A War they prove it, blasting off with New Life, a hard-hitting song about moving on after a toxic relationship (“I won’t be a witness to my own murder.”)
Now, do not be deceived by the band’s statement. It does not mean that the Lords are a Nickleback-type melodic rock band with an occasional heavy guitar riff. Think more of Pantera or Black Label Society. The band is fronted by vocalist Lauren Boquette, who has a rich, deep, gravelly voice that, while appropriately gruff for a metal band, does not venture anywhere near the dreaded cookie-monster zone. With a band this heavy you’ve just gotta have two guitars, right? The guitar attack of Jimmy Craig on lead and Travis Dunn on rhythm ably propel the songs on the EP, and anchoring the group on the low down are bassist Chico Tovar and drummer Largarto “Paco” Marley.
Pushing the “play” button once again, Welcome To The Last Time is another song about a failed relationship, and the music and lyrics pound like a pile driver. This Is Her Life (Wasted), Life Is A War and Wrong On The Inside continue the heavy subject matter, with the intense music matching the dark theme of the lyrics. It’s tempting to analyze the songs, and they indeed do have deep meanings that are worth exploring. However, with music this heavy and this good, sometimes it’s best to just turn it up and enjoy the ride—and what a hell of a ride it is.