Review: Gnawed – Ruin (No Rent, May 21)

Along a bike path near my home town there is an abandoned, burned down powder factory. Its dilapidated exterior and ominous empty windows have loomed over me every time I’ve passed it, and the only thing stopping me from exploring inside is that it is quite heavily patrolled (baffling, I know; God forbid kids be allowed to explore an extremely dangerous and unsupervised environment). But if I ever were to step inside, I imagine I would hear a lot of the same sounds as are present on Ruin. Gnawed (Grant Richardson) paints an uncanny dark, industrial landscape, steeped in unsettling anticipation and a visceral feeling of dread. Though the shouted vocals and relatively faster sections on the A side were enjoyable, I found myself much more immersed in the more patient passages. The track that makes up the majority of Side B is definitely one of the most impactful death industrial pieces I’ve heard, creeping along at a lethargic but deliberate pace, with the metallic creaking of machinery conjuring images of terrifying, rust filled urban caverns. Richardson could not have picked a better titled for Ruin; every minute of the tape exudes age, decay, and death.