Concept albums are nothing new in the music world, but Within The Ruins is set to take it in a new direction -- comic books.
The metal band formed in the early '00s and recently has been gaining momentum with the release of Invade in 2010 and and Elite in 2013. Both albums show off the band's technicality and musicianship and take you on fast-paced rides that never slow down.
The band's latest album Phenomena expands on their musical sound, but uses the concept of comic book heroes and villains for its lyrical themes. Within The Ruins teased this earlier in the year when the album was announced and has slowly been revealing each song's concept.
Vocalist Tim Goergen channeled some of his favorite characters for a complete metal assault. Some of the characters include the Joker, Spider-Man, and Venom. The song "Gods Amongst Men" serves as a conversation between Magneto and Professor Xavier, regarding the conflict between humans and mutants.
Goergen says that lyrically, you'll be able to identify which character is featured in each song, but also connect with it on a personal level.
"You can tell who each song is about," Goergen says. "It's kind of obvious, but not to the point where it's cheesy."
Taking the stories of a popular character and translating it into a metal song proved challenging. Goergen wanted the lyrics to be taken seriously to allow fans to still get something out of the lyrics.
"That was kind of the hard part," Goergen says. "Using words that wouldn't make it sound like 'Oh, this is cheesy as fuck.' Basically I just read a bunch of comics and watched a bunch of movies and got to writing. It was definitely fun."
With past releases from the band, Within The Ruins' lyrics came from a more personal side of Goergen. Lyrically, the group has covered topics from speaking against religion and ongoing personal conflicts. Phenomena allows for an escape into new ideas with its individual concepts, telling you a story about each character while providing an audio and visual experience.
One of Goergen's favorite characters is Wolverine. At a young age, Goergen was a huge fan of anything X-Men. He describes the character as a badass with a problematic past, something Goergen connected with. The track "Ronin" is dedicated to the adamantium-clawed mutant.
However, he says the song that was most fun to write lyrics for is the track titled "Clockwork."
"I took a Sin City and Watchmen concept and tried to mash them together," Goergen says. "That was actually the last song I wrote for the album and is the strongest, lyrically, I would say."
Goergen went on to say that writing a comic-themed album was a great experience and that future releases could see another concept album, although it may not be about comic book characters.
Phenomena is out July 22.
Within the Ruins is scheduled to play The Summer Slaughter Tour at the Nile Theater in Mesa on Sunday, July 20.
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