Big thanks to Swirl Earl from Swirling Sounds for his great album review:
Ruby the Hatchet – Aurum
Is it possible to write a review on a hard rock band which is also influenced by bluesy and doomy occult rock without mentioning Black Sabbath? Well, let’s give it a try.
Ruby The Hatchet was founded as a quartet in New Jersey in 2010. The band recorded its debut full-length Ouroboro with a classical rock-lineup consisting of John Scarperia (guitar), Mike Parise (bass), Owen Stewart (drums, vocals) and Jilian Tyalor as frontwoman and vocalist in 2012 and self-released it in a strictly limited run of 100 pieces on CD.
Since then a lot of things have happened. Sean Hur has been added as a constant member on organ, the band has moved to Philadelphia, a new single (Eliminator) was released and the band got singed by the prestigious Tee Pee Records label for their second album (Valley Of The Snake) which came into the world early in 2015. And now is there a new album (Aurum) just a few months afterwards? No, it’s „just“ a new release without new material.
Aurum basically is a best of-record which contains seven songs of their debut-album Ouroboro and the two songs of the Eliminator-single. In this sense it’s a collector’s item, which makes it possible to enjoy early songs of Ruby The Hatchet as a limited edition on vinyl for the first time. But also new fans could be interested in Aurum because it gives a quick an good overview on the band’s creative work.
The songs on Aurum got especially mastered for the vinyl release to provide an optimal sound. In this review I’m referring to the digital version of the songs and in this case I can hardly name big sound-differences in comparison to former releases. The only difference you can name is that „Paralyzed“ and „Eliminator“ taken from the Eliminator-single sound unlike the other songs taken from Ouroboro. But this just depends on the individual recording process and the different mixing/mastering and can’t be called a curtailment concerning the quality of Aurum.
But now it’s time to go flat out! If you want to describe the musical style by naming another band your first guess might be Black Sab….. whooops, it already happened but let’s go on. Ruby The Hatchet delivers straight and catchy riffs that easily oscillate between massive heaviness and floating melodies. The rhythm section does an awesome job but mostly hugs the wall and concentrates on keeping up the good grooves. The organ parts and Jilian Taylor’s compelling vocals are the striking elements beside the great guitar-lines
But Ruby The Hatchet might also remind you of Jack White’s The Dead Weather because of the classically bluesy call and response elements like on „Can’t Get Him Away“. Crispy garage rock with huge fuzz-tones, impelling drumbeats and refreshingly witty playfulness.
There is just one direction – getting on top. Although Ruby The Hatchet doesn’t reinvet hard rock and you might have heard a lot of the riffs already before, this band still convinces you with its tight, unfussy and thrilling performance.
Artist: Ruby The Hatchet
Release: May 20th, 2015
Rating: 8 / 10
Highlights: Black Tongue, Holy Father, Eliminator
You can pre-order your copy here.