Sacred Mother Tongue - The Ruin Of Man review


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Band: Sacred Mother Tongue
Album: The Ruin Of Man
Release date: 2009

01. The End
02. Anger Of Reflection
03. Force Fed
04. Two Thousand Eight Hundred
05. The Man You Tried To Hide
06. Talking To The Ears Of The Death
07. The Assassin
08. The Suffering
09. Wake Up Call
10. Numb
11. My Sins Have Become My Fears
12. A Final Idea
13. Hour Glass

Unrealized potential, a band who could have become something but ultimately never got off the ground.

Sacred Mother Tongue were one of those bands who will go down as nearly men, a group who were always on the fringes of a movement but for one reason or another were never able to take it to the next level. Their debut release The Ruin Of Man is evidence that it wasn't for a lack of talent.

Sacred Mother Tongue have a captivating and powerful sound that blends melodic death metal with metalcore; while leaning more on the latter, the band ensure the former makes a strong undercurrent and rounds out the band's sound. Built around the strong riffs of James and fronted by South, The Ruin Of Man has a compelling sound that will grow on you once you hit play. The band produced some quality tracks that still stand tall now 12 years removed from their inception, with songs like "Anger On Reflection", "The Man You Tried To Hide" and "Numb" sounding just as vital today as they were all those years ago, even with the disintegration of its supporting genre. The band managed to balance sounding unique whilst remaining a part of the metalcore sound that was prevalent at the time.

The breakdown in "Force Fed" sounds fresh and that the band shouldn't be written off as a copy-and-paste metalcore band that was de rigueur in the late 00's. "The Man You Tried To Hide" builds into a strong chorus and has a solo that highlights the talent James had in spades alongside the instrumental "Hourglass". The intricate guitar work in "The Suffering" shows that the band put more effort and creativity into a genre that by 2009 was running short on ideas.

The album has a strong and solid sound, with James' guitar tone being the load-bearing wall the album rests on; Atkins ensures the sound is vibrant, with each element well balanced and audible for the most part. Newell's drums sound punchy and tight; while they aren't packed with energy, they work within the confines of the songs well. The only person who is largely let down by the production is Gurner, who is lost in the mix when he plays under James' guitar lines, only being noticed when you realize the guitar sounds oddly thick, at which point it clicks where the bass is.

While the album doesn't feature any tracks I would outright say are bad, they do drift into mediocrity at times, and "Two Thousand Eight Hundred" sees South produce a vocal pattern that is clunky in the verses, to the extent that it makes him sound as if he is channelling Stevie from Malcolm In The Middle, before the chorus features his strong soaring vocals. "Wake Up Call" never really gets off the ground; it tries to build around a clever but ultimately awkward riff that the band stick ideas to rather than build around. "A Final Idea" is aptly named, sounding like the band cobbled together some off cuts and tried to form them into a song; while not necessarily bad, it does sound like it's missing an intrinsic purpose.

Alas, even with an album this strong, the band would never be able to build upon it in a meaningful way, producing only one more EP and album before calling it a day. The Ruin Of Man is a solid reminder that while they may not have stuck around for long, to those who got to hear and see them live, Sacred Mother Tongue made a sizeable impact.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 6


Written on 21.03.2021 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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