Fins Lie in Ruins unleash precise, relentless death metal assault on ‘Floating in Timeless Streams’

For the first time in a long time, things are looking up around here, and even though the next two months are going to be utter bullshit, there’s a slight light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t think I need to elaborate on this, right? Anyway, you’d think the need for brutal, devastating music might be on the back burner, but I didn’t realize how good it would feel when things were actually better.

Basically that means that vile and disgusting death metal can be just as menacing when our mood isn’t in the fucking toilet, which we found out in smashing precision with “Floating in Timeless Streams,” the excellent new record from Finnish force Lie in Ruins. The band might sour on me aligning their corrosive assault with being in a good mood, so don’t get me wrong. This record is awash in madness, it cuts right for your throat, and you will feel like you endured the losing end of a Texas death match once you’re done with these 10 tracks and about 41 minutes. If you’re familiar with the band—vocalist/bassist Roni Sahari, guitarists Roni Ärling and Tuomas Kulmala (also credited with vocals), and drummer Jussi-Pekka Manner—you’d realize 41 minutes is their shortest record to date (2014’s “Toward Divine Death” clocked in at 71 minutes), but it’s also explosively punishing and an ideal serving for their mission.

“Earth Shall Mourn” opens with drums rumbling and the pace clobbering while devastating growls begin to tear down walls. Filth spreads as melodies stir, growls reopen wounds, and the track comes to a furious finish. “Spectral Realms of Fornication” has riffs swirling in a storm as the growls engorge, and everything bleeds with a fury. The leads spark as hypnotic playing arrives, making your head spin before the pace explodes, and the playing electrifies before we’re back to the soot, black growls, and into a tunnel toward “Interlude I.” Quiet guitars lurk amid eerie sounds, and then it’s on to “(Becoming) One With the Aether” that delivers a piledriver to the cement as it kicks off. The senses are smashed as animalistic growls attack, and the speed rages toward ugly hell. Punishing trampling eventually gives way to a noxious fog, and out of that, the playing mangles, tearing off flesh as we head into “Drowned” that’s an outright assault. Mauling growls chew up muscle while the leads pick up and burn, leaving off fumes. The heat intensifies as morbid destruction spills over like a horrifying stew, and the drums snap necks, leaving behind scary echoes.

“The Path” gets off to a slower pace, feeling nightmarish and like something that slipped out of your dreams into real life. The track trudges hard, offering crunch and terror as dirty tones leave mud. The growls crush as the muck builds, and the doom floods your lungs. “Descending Further” unleashes sweltering riffs and deep growls that scrape the guts, with speed erupting out of the madness. The track settles into ugly gnashing while the guitars ignite, destroying again as the walls crumble down. “Suffocating Darkness” rips into the picture with guitars ringing out, blasting apart as the band thrashes heavily. Leads dominate as the growls corrode, feeling vile and dangerous. The guitars explode again, jolting your body as everything ends up in a shallow grave. “Interlude II” slips in with organs swelling and keys dripping, draining into closer “Where Mountains Sleep,” as riffs reign and spatter the walls with blood. Growls maul as the pace gets rowdier, while doom bells strike, and the guitar work opens and gains momentum. Barbaric hell reigns as heavy doom clouds choke the sun, while dreary misery flows like a diseased river, and storm winds carry the stench into the night.

Slimmer and trimmer than their last record, Lie in Ruins make excellent use of the more compact run time on “Floating in Timeless Streams,” their most muscular effort yet. This band delivers death metal with a worm-infested heart, always reveling in ugliness and making you experience every inch. This is a killer effort from a band that seems ready to tear off some heads.

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