I never heard “Castles” the debut album which came out in 2019.
So “Ruins” the “reimagined” album, which came out in December 2020, is my first album experience from Daniel Tompkins.
Tompkins was in Tesseract, then he left to be replaced by Ashe O’Hara, only to return again circa 13/14. In between and before and after, he’s lended his talents to many different projects and collaborations.
So the songs on “Ruins” are a reworking of the 7 songs on “Castles” with “The Gift” (featuring Matt Heafy from Trivium) as the only new track.
It feels like a soundtrack for the first 90 seconds as a piano plays an arpeggio like riff, while the synths swirl around, building in intensity. The drumming kicks in along with the ohhhs and ahhs from Tompkins.
Check out the head banging groove from 3.15.
At 3.54 it becomes quiet and it feels like the sad part of a movie, the death scene. And at 4.20 it picks up with a guitar lead.
Australian guitar hero PLINI is here to lend a helping hand. His biggest influence is Satriani and Steve Vai described him as “the future of exceptional guitar playing”.
Tompkins’s voice is hypnotic throughout.
A synth riff on a loop keeps repeating and like “Wounded Wings” it keeps building in intensity.
How good is the section when Tompkins sings “We are the stars, the lords of a new age”, etc.
Stains Of Betrayal
It feels like a ballad as the synth plays chords. Then from the 37 second mark, it starts. A TesseracT style cut, progressive metal based on a feel and a groove.
It’s source material is the track “Cinders”.
The whole “my fire still burns, but was it ever really gone?” sections are essential listening.
The albums standout track. It’s source song is “Saved” but it sounds nothing like it.
A looping synth is present, as the guitars chop in and out while the bass and drums set a poly rhythmic groove.
At only 4 minutes long, it packs a lot.
A Dark Kind Of Angel
A repeating guitar riff, that sounds like it’s on a loop kicks it off, as the bass and drums set a groove reminiscent of “A Perfect Circle”.
The lead break section from 2.58. It’s head banging and emotive. I’m all in.
The synth in the verses is excellent.
And that Chorus is anthemic.
It’s almost metalcore but it’s not.
And the closing 30 seconds. Wow. The only thing I could do is press play again.
For an album that’s reimagined from an album released a year ago, I’m a fan. And I didn’t think I would be, because I was not a fan of Lynch Mob’s reimagined “Wicked Sensation”.
Check it out.