Rating:
N/A
Ruina / Tundra / Operation Winter Mist - Allegiance Of The Profane Pack [Split] [EP]
2007


Ruina
01. Ukrunia
02. The Tree Of Kin Is Rotting
03. My Holey Soul
04. Cattle Sapiens

Tundra
05. Transilvanian Hunger [Darkthrone cover]
06. The Triumph Of Black
07. Prelude To A Soaring Blackfire
08. Total Human Collapse

Operation Winter Mist
09. Battleflag
10. Suicide Warfare
11. Nocturnal Hell [Slaughter cover]


Well, the Winter Olympics are currently going on in Canada. Speaking of the Canadian north, courtesy of a contact with the now defunct NMB records, I recently received a copy of the Allegiance Of The Profane Pack three-band split. All that in mind, I thought I'd try a, uh, rather unique approach to this review, with God(in, Luke) as my co-pilot..

Enjoy. Or don't. Like I care.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


BC: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, you are looking live at UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest outside of Vancouver for the Extreme Metal 8k Biathlon. We have three contestants remaining vying for the podium and national glory. Hailing from frozen tundra of Ukraine, Ruina. From the slopes of Italy, Tundra. Finally, the local favorites, Canada's own Operation Winter Mist.

BC: Joining me in the booth today is riff-veteran and former bronze medalist in Nordic Power Trio event, Calgary's Luke "Doc" Godin, providing the color analysis...

Doc: Colour? My soul is devoid of colour; black, much like the majority of this split.


Ruina

BC: And we're off! Ruina is off to a smashing start right out of their gate with "Ukruina"... crisp sounding black metal riffs with a touch of death thrown in. The dual vocal approach also adds to the strong start. The occasional use of that roaring subsonic death metal growl to underline the typical, but fairly well executed black metal screeches really kicks you in the junk. Luke, what the hell was that twang? Did they just break out a mouth harp?

Doc: That's what it sounds like BC, and right off the bat they're setting a high bar by bringing in bizarre elements into a vicious atmosphere, almost bouncy and catchy, while still cold & dark.

BC: Yes, I agree. Totally unexpected maneuver on their part, seems odd, but oddly not entirely out of place. It continues with "The Tree Of Kin Is Rotting", giving their blistering pace a bounce in it's step. The bass work is also an effective approach. While it doubles up the blackened riffing, it provides muscle and backbone to the approach, and stands out wonderfully rambling and rumbling during the Drudkh influenced "Cattle Sapiens." .

The drummer also appears comfortable at this clip, feverishly playing along in a workmanlike effort, but with shining moments, particularly the opening portions of "My Holey Soul". They have managed to maintain quite the driving pace but it's not fatiguing, perhaps a benefit of today's shorter distance. I could see keeping this up for 50 minutes would get tiresome, but with only 15 minutes, the pace worked well.


Tundra

BC: Oh my. Tundra has faltered immediately as the competition begins. The decision to cover Darkthrone's "Transilvanian Hunger" will cost them. It's easy to play, but deceptively hard to capture. The drumwork, particularly on the cymbals, overpowers the guitars... sounds like just random crashes from time to time. It's one thing emulate the a successful titan of the genre, but it can also be a bit of a gamble.

Doc: Predictable is all I have to say about this performance, BC. If Tundra wanted to take the gold they should be a little more creative in the execution of their music.

BC: They have continued to show the DT influence well into their routine, with "The Triumph Of Black" and the almost Immortal-esque named "Prelude To A Soaring Blackfire". Their approach to the event is more tried and true with not much of anything new to help them cover ground in this competition. It's well done with it's harking back to past influences, but not quite interesting or innovative enough to fire up the audience.


Operation Winter Mist

BC: And the crowd is all abuzz as the local heroes enter the fray. Their initial mid-pace approach "Battleflag" is reminiscent of Amon Amarth, only more blackened... with some hints of High On Fire during the chorus. Primary vocal delivery is death growl, but as with the Ukrainians, they occasionally incorporate an even lower and perhaps more powerful death growl to augment their attack. Their pace has quickened into a frenzied driving beat now, definitely paying dividends. An enjoyable performance.

Wow. With "Suicide Warfare" the initial midpace riffing quickly gave way to an all-out blitz attack at an aggressive cruising speed, although the pace is not maintained for long before settling back down into that comfortable but effective mid-speed pace. It's clear that while they can burn or play slow, they best hit their peak performance with that driving cruising speed. It's clearly their stride.

As with Tundra, they have also opted to pay homage to their influences by covering "Nocturnal Hell" by fellow Canucks, Slaughter... and it is strong enough to help carry them across the finish line with an impressive effort, but not quite enough to catch the Ukrainian competitor in today's event.


Post Game Wrap-Up and Medal Ceremony

BC: So, ladies and gentlemen, there you have your order of finish.

The Bronze goes to Tundra for a solid, but not incredibly inspired or innovative effort. Hopefully they'll spend some time to develop their own niche in time for their next release. (6.25)

Silver goes to local favorite Operation Winter Mist for their rollicking affair. (7)

And, oh my, Ukrainians are delirious with joy and are madly celebrating Ruina for their Gold medal winning push here today. Job well done. (7.25)

Any parting thoughts, Doc?

Doc: Absolutely not...Except for perhaps one; don't waste your time with Tundra.

BC: That's it, everybody. Special thanks to our crew for helping us present today's match. Hope you folks watching at home enjoyed yourself as much as we did. Good night and drive safe.


 



Written on 02.03.2010 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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Ellrohir - 02.03.2010 at 09:56  
Wow...nice review concept
Mr. Doctor - 02.03.2010 at 10:10  
This was amazing... I'm checking the two bbest bands in the competition!

Perfect review
Valentin B - 02.03.2010 at 10:28  
Frozen tundra of ukraine? lol
Doc Godin - 02.03.2010 at 12:15  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.03.2010 at 10:10

This was amazing... I'm checking the two bbest bands in the competition!

Perfect review

Definitely do that. Ruina was possibly the biggest (pleasant) surprise for me, real bizarre stuff, I'm going to be looking for their full length. Operation Winter Mist is something I'd definitely recommend for anyone into straight-forward death metal.
BitterCOld - 02.03.2010 at 18:36  
Written by Valentin B on 02.03.2010 at 10:28

Frozen tundra of ukraine? lol


i just thought it funny a band from Italy had "tundra" as the name. when one thinks of Italy, one tends to think of a balmy Mediterranean climate (well, maybe that's just me, and i am aware of the Alps in the northern border of the country) and just wanted to incorporate tundra in there to describe one of the other countries, which have far colder climates.

besides, i remember some football tourney a decade and change ago that Dynamo Kiev was in, and the announcers referred to their pitch as "the frozen tundra"...
Ellrohir - 02.03.2010 at 19:06  
It will be quite boring, if bands only name themselves and sing about their local conditions and culture, dont you think?
BitterCOld - 02.03.2010 at 19:16  
Written by Ellrohir on 02.03.2010 at 19:06

It will be quite boring, if bands only name themselves and sing about their local conditions and culture, dont you think?


that wasn't my point. (although someone else started a thread about viking metal from non-viking metal countries)... i wasn't saying they should sing about local conditions. just naming yourself "tundra" in a country renowned for wonderful climate is kinda funny.

when you see the name you think, "black metal. tundra. must be scandinavian. or maybe canadian. what? italy?"

amusingly, i suppose the name Tundra might be more fitting a name for the band from Ukraine, and Ruins more fitting for the Italian band, given ancient Rome's construction marvels..

but it is just an observation, not a criticism of the name, let alone their lyrical content.
Ellrohir - 02.03.2010 at 19:25  
Well according to me - you dont choose place where you born...they was born in Italy, but want to sing about tundras...do they need to move themselves to Siberia or North Canada before doing so?

Amon Amarth also doesnt come from Mordor as well as there are no volcanoes in Sweden...
BitterCOld - 02.03.2010 at 19:32  
Written by Ellrohir on 02.03.2010 at 19:25

Well according to me - you dont choose place where you born...they was born in Italy, but want to sing about tundras...do they need to move themselves to Siberia or North Canada before doing so?

Amon Amarth also doesnt come from Mordor as well as there are no volcanoes in Sweden...



IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THEY SING ABOUT.

it's a god-damn observation... particularly of what could easily be considered a cliche' choice for a name, a cliche reinforced by their particular mode of black metal.

i'm sorry you are incapable of grasping this.
Mr. Doctor - 03.03.2010 at 00:30  
Holy shit guys.... I wish the names were in arabic or something so you won't udnerstand shit and stop talking about the lyrics/band names... OH WAIT! That will cause trouble too! Because they are from italy and not from arabic countries... But they have the right to sing whatever they want and blablabla... But that was just an observation, DUDE!!!!

Goddamnit... Oh yeah... BTW: I checked Ruina for a while ago... The songs I listened to were awesome, but I didn't hear the mouth-harp unless you just mean that crazy guitar solo...
BitterCOld - 03.03.2010 at 00:43  
In giving it further thought, truth be told, they have every right to call themselves whatever, sing about whatever, and play whatever style they want.

when one looks at BM, though, one seems to notice bands like Drudkh, Primordial and Negura Bunget who took the aesthetic then instead of just copying Norwegian 2nd Wave sound, went on to incorporate some of their local traditions and flavors.

this has made their music stand out from the crowd.

within this split, Ruina opted to take that route a bit, and as a result they stood out to both Doc (not a black metal fan) and myself. Tundra didn't do anything unique and both of us, reaching our own conclusions separately before conferring, flagged them in a distant 3rd.

so Tundra can do whatever the fuck they want, but opting for a somewhat cliche' name and a Darkclone sound, will do nothing to distinguish them apart from all the other Darkclone bands all over creation.
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.03.2010 at 01:08  
Nice and funny review. Will be sure to check it out.
Doc Godin - 04.03.2010 at 02:29  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.03.2010 at 00:30

Goddamnit... Oh yeah... BTW: I checked Ruina for a while ago... The songs I listened to were awesome, but I didn't hear the mouth-harp unless you just mean that crazy guitar solo...

The mouth harp stands out best in "The Tree Of Kin Is Rotting" as I recall...
BitterCOld - 04.03.2010 at 03:34  
Really prominent in first minute or so of "My Holey Soul" as well.

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