Ruit Hora - Kainophobia
Released off label 2022
This review was commissioned through Ko-fi. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
Synth influenced doom metal project Ruit Hora was found in 2019 by Daniel Araya Bravo (Decem Maleficivm, Favna Abisal) in Santiago de Chile. A one-man project in the beginning, Bravo started off by utilizing only a drum machine and synths to create music. This led to his release of his self-titled debut which received positive praise from fans and blogs alike. Following the release of his 2019 album, Bravo began to work on his follow-up “Kainophobia”. This time, however, he brought with him a new crew including Carlos Fuentes (effects, drum machines), Fran Muñoz (drums), and Pablo Selman (bass). The new crew joined together to craft an album revolving around “the eternal dance between desire, struggle, regret, and the fear of entering a transition stage.”
‘The Fall’ begins the album and as expected, there are dragging guitars, slow paced but deep drums, and vocals with a bit of a chorus-like effect on them. However, added in are synthesizers in the background that drag along aside the raw instruments. Throughout the track, there are several transitions, such as around the one-minute and twenty-five second mark. The initial dragging transfers to lighter electronics notes and an almost post-rock like segment plays. And not but a few moments after does the song again transfer into a calamity. It’s a sloppy execution the second time around with a lot of the instruments failing to harmoniously play together. But it’s impressive that Ruit Hora is at least attempting to keep the listener on their toes.
Following up comes ‘Transition Towards the Inevitable’. The opening moments of the tracks are hit with horn-like synths and further heavy drums. I am none too impressed by the combination as I don’t feel as either the horns nor the synths play well with one another. Due to the beat being somewhat ramped up, the slower paced vocals don’t mix too well either. It’s like the opening credits of a horror film got mixed in with the drums of a rock song and this unwelcoming track was birthed.
Ruit Hora shows discipline with ‘Pazuzu’, however. Fit with growling vocals and menacing beats, ‘Pazuzu’ immediately became a Ruit Hora classic after the first playthrough. I especially loved the part around the one-minute and forty-some second mark. Where, as a growl is held, the guitars / synth fade with it. We’re then thrust into a section with a trickling of ominous electronics and heavy drums waiting until the beat breaks back in. It’s a gorgeous song and one that I would listen to over and over again.
The opening bassline of ‘Broken Mirror, Broken Ego’ would have you think that Ruit Hora is an EBM project. However, that’s immediately thrown to the wolves as soon as the deep, growling voice and slamming rhythms breakthrough. While that bassline remains throughout the track, it’s an underlying element that never takes the spotlight.
‘The Higher You Fly, The Harder You Fall’ is extremely atmospheric, throwing in airplane like static synths during the opening. Other textures decorate the track, and a slow roll of drums bring in Araya’s voice. The drums get more rapid midway through the song and Araya switches to growling. After a moment of silence around the two-minute and fifty-second mark does the song transition right back into blissful synth-doom-metal the likes of which Perturbator would be proud of. Again, Ruit Hora is able to keep their songs fresh by constantly shifting them without sounding off.
‘What If Time Was Impartial’ begins with crunchy guitars and a light noise like atmosphere – as if you’re visiting a very seedy, underground bar with cult-like vibes. Araya adopts his growls for this track which further cement that feeling. The longer the song goes on, the more surprises pop up.
‘Adrift’ is another track that begins with a very electronic bassline that sounds like something out of an arcade racer. But, alas, that is not Ruit Hora’s modus operandi; the hardened synth-metal comes in and crushes those thoughts. However, just as with ‘Broken Mirror, Broken Ego’, that bassline stays and serves as a base for which the track builds itself upon.
The last track on “Kainophobia” also serves as its title track. This one dodges all expectations and flies into a bit of an ambient / IDM song. I would have preferred solid synth work over the somewhat raw delivery. The IDM elements gave a nice touch, and towards the three-minute and thirty-second mark do we get the workings of an actual song. While interesting, it’s not the project’s best on the album by far.
Ruit Hora’s synth-doom-metal style works, and it works well – in most cases. There are a few points on the album where they failed in delivery, such as on ‘Transition Towards the Inevitable’, but there are more moments on this album where I was impressed rather than let down. ‘Pazuzuz’ is the highlight of “Kainophobia” for me and showcases what a powerhouse Ruit Hora is. This is the first album where all four members collided their heads together, so perhaps in the future we will see Ruit Hora grow and mature. I know I’ll be looking forward to it. Seven out of ten.Jul 18 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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