For Ruin | December

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Metal/Punk: Black Metal Metal/Punk: Death Metal Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by For Ruin

Melodic black / death Metal from Ireland with strong influences from Rotting Christ, Death, Katatonia & Amorphis. Delux digi pack. Samples available at
Genre: Metal/Punk: Black Metal
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Into Red
4:30 album only
2. Wake
4:30 album only
3. Towards an End
4:57 album only
4. Dread
4:09 album only
5. Eyesore
3:22 album only
6. Demon
4:09 album only
7. Starling
4:47 album only
8. December
2:20 album only
9. Another Breed
4:39 album only
10. Frailty
5:27 album only


Album Notes
During 1998-2004, John Murphy wrote and demoed a number of tracks which finally found their way onto the split Meiche / For Ruin demo. During early 2004, John relocated to Valencia, Spain and immediately began writing and recording again, buoyed by encouraging reviews of the first For Ruin demo in many publications.

Winter '05 - a second demo 'SHADE ' was completed. It features 6 tracks of more advanced material than that found on the Split demo, and includes an improved version of Vertigo. In November 2005, the initial lineup was formed and joined an Irish tour with Mael Mordha in early February 2006 as well as playing a number of other gigs including an appearance at the 2006 Day of Darkness festival.
During late 2006 Murphy was joined by drummer Barry English, guitarist Drew Myers and bassist Barry O´Sullivan. The band scheduled many gigs in late 2006 in support of their latest demo CD "Obsidian" and recorded and released a live DVD in January 2007.

In January 2007, the band secured a recording contract with Sentinel Records, Ireland. During March 2007 the band recorded their debut album "December", released in Autumn 2007. It is the first For Ruin release not to be played solely by Murphy, and features a raw, live production, with all members showing their abilities on a number of tracks that featured on the demos, as well as a number of previously unreleased new tracks. The band play with Napalm Death in August and Massacre in November 2007 as well as playing their own shows in support of December.

Supported Destruction, Decapitated, Primordial, The Firstborn, Geasa, Mourning Beloveth & Madder Mortem

9th best unsigned band , Terrorizer mag 2006

Appeared on Terrorizer Magazine unsigned CD

Glowing past reviews from Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles & many others



to write a review

ultimate metal

What a surprise For Ruin’s debut, December, turned out to be. Seriously, this one seemingly came out of nowhere. Though it turns out For Ruin has released a split, a demo, and an EP, this band is entirely fresh to this writer. Hailing from Ireland, you’d be forgiven for assuming For Ruin play a form of folk or Pagan tinged music, as it seems that is what those Irish are known, giving birth to Primordial, Geasa, Cruachan, and Mael Mordha. The reality is that Ireland produces superior music which is constantly disregarded for some odd reason. The music of such bands as Scald, Stand-Up Guy, Wreck of the Hesperus, and now For Ruin are worthy of being sought out, as the sound of each is truly rewarding.

December is what metal is all about. It is attention grabbing, beautiful, moving, emotional, and comes from the heart. With each note, it is apparent mastermind John Murphy put thought in how every song should be structured, and executed. The music found within will bring to mind the likes of mid period Death, Dark Tranquillity’s early years, Dawn’s brilliant debut album, early Amorphis, and some vintage Katatonia. A wide array of music, yes, but then add stellar guitar work ala Iron Maiden and the heart of the underground and there you have it, Faithful Reader.

The entire forty-three minutes flow seamlessly and quickly. Before you are aware the album will end, and you will realize that you missed intricate parts of the ten heavily woven hymns. It is hard to listen to December and not concentrate on the divine melodic guitar play between John Murphy and Drew Myers. Faithful Reader, you will not here more sublime and emotional twin harmonies this year. For Ruin does it with class and more importantly, balls. Murphy’s vocals are executed quite effectively. Not understandable, but they have a certain guttural gruffness that adds an air of darkness and sadness. The funny thing is, Murphey is most compelling when he is quiet, and lets the music convey the message. Another highlight is the drum playing by Barry English. He just plays, and plays to the song. He does not try to dictate the song or go off on tangents to showcase his abilities. It is a shame Barry O’Sullivan’s bass is not very audible. At times it can be heard clearly, and it is noticeable, and not an afterthought to the listener. For Ruin seem to realize the bass is an integral part of a band’s sound. In the future, let it be heard.

As for the songs themselves, well, there are many gems. Opener \'Into Red\' sets the stage perfectly for what is to come. A powerful melody line opens the floodgates to the dark maelstrom. \'Wake\' begins strongly, only to calm down and let the bass lines flow. To complete the one-two-three combo, \'Towards the Sun\' is able to convey a feeling of hope and loss simply by the initial riff with blast beats backing it up. \'Starling\' is yet another jewel. It is probably the best written song on the album. However, with \'Frailty\', For Ruin truly won this writer’s heart. A truly moving piece that never moves beyond a mid-pace, it is quite truly one of the more refined songs heard all year. The melodies are gorgeous, and it is the perfect ending to a spectacular album.

Faithful Reader, you need December. If only to remind you that metal can be beautiful, soulful, melodic, yet still retain what makes it metal in the first place: a sense of being underground. For those that have lost hope, December might well be your saviour.


FOR RUIN were formed in 2003 in Ireland by the guitarist John Murphy. In 2004 they released their first split with Meiche, which is a black metal project of Murphy. In the winter of 2005 FOR RUIN recorded and released their first demo “Shade”, which includes three of the songs of their full-length album “December”. In February 2006 FOR RUIN joined the Irish Tour of Mael Mordha and also performed live at the Day Of Darkness fest 2006. During 2006 they released their first Ep “Obsidian” and in January 2007 also recorded their live DVD. And after that the band signed for Sentinel Records and released their first full-length album “December”. “FOR RUIN” has worked hard and without cease, and I have to mention that they are rewarded by their effort. I think it\'s a big deal to be voted as the 9th best unsigned band by the “Terrorizer” magazine; but, of course, it\'s not only what the zines say, yet what your fans believe about you, and as I have noticed “FOR RUIN” has a number of fans and really worth it, \'cause their work is really remarkable and unique. It\'s obvious, that since their first demo, they have stated their identity and have evolved accordingly. In “December” we can find tracks included to every former release. For example, one of the best tracks of their album, “Dread”, appearred for the first time in their first demo “Shade”, or “Wake”, which is the second track of “December” and at the same time one of the most remarkable tracks of the album. I think that regarding the presentation of their songs, “FOR RUIN” has made a really great and organised job! I guess the only thing that diminishes the quality of the album is the production, which I would say it’s a little ragged and injures the whole effort. I think that this kind of music needs a sharper production, in order to be elevated.
Mostly influenced by bands like Rotting Christ, Amon Amarth, Amorphis, Carcass, Dark Tranquillity and the early era of In Flames, FOR RUIN have created a very fine sample of melodic death and black metal. Even though Murphy’s voice is really raspy and harsh, closer to the black metal norms, the guitar melodies add a slight touch of atmosphere and sometimes sound a little melancholic and sorrowful, without being complicated and pretentious. On the other hand, there are also those cutting sharp riffs, underlying the melody, and that fast drumming, which keep you in tense. In general they have used catchy melodies that make you listen to this album over and over again and many fast paced passages. In my opinion the most highlighted tracks of the album are: “Wake”, “Dread” and “Towards an End”.
I hope that their next releases will be equal qualitative as this one and they will keep on evolving just like they have already done….


This is an interesting release for me because I have had the good fortune of seeing this band grow at an alarming rate. I was first introduced to For Ruin through a split with one of John Murphy’s other projects. For Ruin was by far the more melodic and accomplished of the two, so I was happy to see that Mr. Murphy decided to focus his efforts exclusively on For Ruin.

There is an insanely addictive quality to For Ruin that begs for an appropriately verbose description: One that I am certainly not capable of giving, though I will try. Melodic black/death metal doesn’t do the band an ounce of justice. This is the kind of melody that oozes emotion without having to slap you in the face with overwrought lyrical clichés. Simply put, if one were able to listen to death, Obsidian would certainly be a beautiful one. It’s an all too ephemeral excursion to your grave.

Normally I loathe “melodic” death metal. Either I have untrained ears or it really does all sound the same. When I heard For Ruin’s songs from that split I found myself pleasantly surprised by the mood and atmosphere within. They had a raw spirit, not unlike an even less polished In Flames circa Lunar Strain. Purely riff-driven with cutting vocals. Harmonies out the ass. Guaranteed to make you break your neck. Since then Murphy enlisted three Irish cohorts to round out a real band and I am proud to say they have managed to one-up themselves again.

Murphy and the gang made a wise decision in keeping this EP short. The only real downer sets in near album’s end when you realize you are very close to finishing the best 22 minutes of melodic death metal unleashed in ’06. Some of this is pretty stunning, most notably “Treading ’06”, a nearly 8 minute instrumental that ebbs and flows in gorgeously arranged fashion. Progressive, to say the least. Sure, it’s relatively simple, but simple is a welcome escape from the unnecessarily pretentious one-upmanship of modern melo-death.

The remaining three tracks scream harmony from blackened lungs. Though they are not a complete departure from “Treading ’06”, they are certainly punchier. That addictively clean tone is still there, but the vocals really add another dimension to the music. “Wake” is the best of the three, simply because I still can’t get its main riff out of my head after first listening to it over a month ago. That said, they’re all gems. EP opener “December” is a haze of harmony. Smart of ‘em to open with an instrumental, too. The riffs do most of the band’s talking anyway. “Into Red” and “Jaded” are slightly less interesting than the others but the benchmark is high and they are still great songs.

I have said it before and I will say it again, For Ruin is a band to watch. Mr. Murphy was clearly encouraged and inspired by positive reviews to the split and the demo that followed, because he has displayed marked improvement since then. If you are sick of overly-polished melodic death for the mall and me-first McDonalds culture then For Ruin is the band for you.