The opening guitars of Constant Failure from Russian metal act Tantal produce those almost very typical flavours of technical prog metal many know well. This is not a bad thing, as it’s not every day that one gets to hear a band from Russia. The vocals come across quite smooth, possibly a little too smooth, with a pinch abrasive vocal to keep things interesting.  Heading into Denial, you get a sense of the kind of solid metal that Tantal know how to craft very well, as this track shows off more the progressive and heavier feel that this band wants you to experience. It’s on Torn Inside, that you get to really bop your head to the kind of vibe one would hope to hear more of on the bands album ‘Ruin.’ The guitar work here is very standard but far from tiring, as Sofia Raykova really hits her stride vocally on this track.

There definitely seems to be a formula to this style of metal, and Tantal really follow the guide well, whilst crafting their own style. Drained starts with a nice acoustic feel that morphs into a solid metal ballad that translates more of a rocker of sorts, that would sound interesting curiously as a full acoustic track, but this works and carries the vibe of the album nicely. It’s on Torpid, that we get the ballad moment, with some nice drum patterns that hold this track well with Raykova’s vocal floating above the impressive fretwork of Dmitry Ignatiev. The bass of Andre Smirnov from the legendary U.D.O. holds this all together very nicely, but one can never get enough bass right?

Production on the album is solid and one would expect no less from a band that’s been around since 2005. Torpid sticks out as a highlight to check out on the album that really shows off the band as a whole and everyone gets a moment to each their own depth and personality, as Raykova sings the melody with a charm and grace that works beautifully for the albums single. Low is a memorable highlight also with a well-timed track that shows more of the depth in this band’s sound.

The title track, Ruin opens with a slightly epic feel building towards the albums finale, which strategically works and could easily be another single, with some impressive hooks and timing that stands out. Tears of Yesterday stands ground as a solid sing along track and the band’s commercial appeal is heard well again with a great chorus and vocal harmony that makes this another highlight track.

Closing with the sombre tones of The Awakening, Tantal more than prove their depth and end things smoothly.  Fans of all things prog metal, check out this album. Tantal deliver with a sincerity and class that makes this worthy of your time and attention.

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