RUINED SOUL

Ruined Soul

BIO

RUINED SOUL is a band from Gothenburg, Sweden. But it started as a one man project that came to life in 2009 and JOHNNY JOHANSSON is its creator. Johnny has written all the lyrics, all music and playing guitar and bass himself.

Ruined Soul took its shape when Johnny felt that he had very good material and ideas that were not appropriate for his other band (Disdain). The debut album “MY DYING DAY” is the result and proof that Johnny had actually been right that he had to channel these ideas into a new creation; RUINED SOUL.

“MY DYING DAY” is a masterpiece of 10 songs with a sound, production, arrangement and energy that does not leave any metal-head disappointed. “My Dying Day” was produced by Johnny Johansson, mixed and mastered at the world famous Sonic Train Studios, by Andy La Rocque. Fantastic cover art done by Gustavo Sazes who has also done album covers for bands like Arch Enemy, Dream Evil, Nightrage, Old Man’s Child, Sonic Syndicate.

Gothenburg has always been a great city when it comes to presenting metal, and this album is definitely no exception. “MY DYING DAY” will once again show the world that Gothenburg is the metal city of the world.

LINE-UP

Johnny Johansson (Disdain) – guitars
Patrik Johansson (Arise) – vocals
Jonathan Thorpengberg (Trenches) – guitars
Janne Jaloma (Deals Death) – drums
Fredrik Ljung (Deals Death) – bass

CONNECT!

INTERVIEWS

Rapture. Had you not been a bass player in this band? And Patrik Johansson was a singer there…Later he joined Prophanity…Not sure… I am bit confused there because there is so many Johansson’s :-D.

Yes, I was the bass player in Rapture and Patrik handled the vocals. We didn’t release anything official. Patrik hasn’t been a member of Prophanity, I think.

Johansson, Johansson, Johansson, unbelievable. Actually I know one Johansson, his name is Rogga. Are you by a chance family related? Just asking… What I really know though is that both of you are excellent musicians.

Hahah, I’m not related to Rogga. Cool that you think we’re excellent musicians, thanks!

Tell me something about you. Your hobbies, family…

I am a married guy and have a baby boy who is 7 months old. I work as a Technician at a car factory, we work with Volvo cars. My spare time goes, basically, to my music, Ruined Soul and my other band Disdain.

Some musical info:
I started my music career as a bass player when I was about 15-16. As most of the youngsters out there, I started to play Metallica covers, but soon shifted into playing In Flames covers. Death metal was the main music I played before I started Disdain 1998, and that’s when I picked up the guitar for the first time.
In the year 2000 I joined United Fools, as a bass player. We recorded a CD that was released in 2002 through the label Mad Dog Records. In 2004 I quit United Fools. In 2006, Disdain was reincarnated, our debut album has now been released. Check it out: myspace.com/disdainsweden. 2009, I started my solo project Ruined Soul, and here we are today :).

Ruined soul is actually one man band. Why is it so? No one wants to join your band? Or are your demands so high? Or you just prefer to do things by your own way?

I prefer to do this by myself, it’s much more easier this way. I have my vision of this project and I don’t want people to “interfere” my vision. Luckily for me, I don’t have any problems at all to find members to this project… I have a list with musicians that want to join this project. At the moment, I want this to be a one-man project.

Is “My Dying Day” a conceptual work? Is it linked through something? Is it some kind of your life story? The cover is great, really sombre, also the name of the album. Why is everything so sombre and depressive?

”My Dying Day” is not a conceptual album. Some lyrics are about me and my life and some lyrics are my thoughts.

Cool that you like the cover, Gustavo Sazes did a great job!

The idea of everything being sombre was not in my plan. I always write the music first and the music is dark, and I think it’s natural that the lyrics becomes darker than normal.

There were a great number of guests helping you on this album. Why exactly these names? How did you choose them? Was the cooperation smooth? How did you actually manage the actual recording?
Did you just tell the other musicians what to play or did they have some space to experiment? Were there more versions of this album? Something you could probably use for some special releases or Japan version, EP?

Patrik who does the growl on the album, is an old friend of mine. I like his growl and for me he was the first choice to handle the growl. Tobias Jansson is a guy who I’ve been in contact for a long time. I really love his voice and I’m glad that he wanted to do the clean vocals on “Destruction”. I have written all the vocals and I recorded all the growl vocals, and for Tobias, I recorded the vocal lines with my guitar and sent the vocal lines to Tobias.

Regarding the guitar solos… I contacted a lot of guitarists and the guys who guested the album was the first guys who said yes to guest the album. I really like all of their solo styles, that’s why I contacted these guys. All of the guitarists have written their own solos and recorded them by themselves. It went really smooth. If I had written all the solos, it wouldn’t been guest solos, if you know what I mean?.

There are no other versions of the album or songs. Nothing is planned for a Japanese release, but it had been awesome to release it in Japan.

I do not know all the names, so who helped you with vocals, who took care of drums?

Patrik Johansson is doing all the growl vocals on this album. Nowadays he’s the singer in Arise.
Tobias Jansson is doing the clean vocals on the song “Destruction”. He’s a singer in a Thrash Metal band called The Law.

Emanuel Johansson handles the drums for this album. He’s a really good drummer and helps me out when I need a drummer. He doesn’t play in a band nowadays.

There were lots of guests. Isn´t it a record number by a chance? :).
What are you planes for future?
Will you cooperate with the same people or will you go for completely new line up?
Tell me about it. You have started well, so how to keep the high standard? Hahaha

Hahah, I don’t think I’ve beaten a record.
My future plans for this project is first of all to release this album and hopefully, will the album be a great success, haha! I take this project day by day, and try to focus on what’s happening right now. If this album will be great received by the people, there will surely be a second album.
For the next album, I will surely use Patrik Johansson for the growl vocals, if he has the time to help me out.
I will be handling the guitars and bass. We’ll see about the solo guitarists, maybe I will use new ones or old ones.

Who of them was the best and who was the worse? Not only from a musician point of view…Will you tell us? 😀 hmmm… probably not. Are these people your friends?

Some of the guys are my friends.
I have nothing bad to tell you… sorry :).

What if you were supposed to help some other band. Would you have problem with it? I guess not.

If I got the time to do it and I like what I hear, of course I could assist some other band.

Have you been ever thinking to create music different to death thrash style….hmmm, let’s say something like Star-one is playing?

Of course. I also play with my other band Disdain, check it out: www.myspace.com/disdainsweden
Disdain plays melodic metal, with clean vocals. Our debut album was released in March.

What do you expect from “My Dying Day”? I guess live shows are out of discussions? Or do you actually have some plans with it?

If someone wants to pay to see Ruined Soul live, of course there will be a show.
I have talked with some guys, if they could assist me live. It would be awesome to perform these songs live.

The song Destruction is really melodic with catchy refrain and I would nearly say some heavy metal influence – it sounds really great. How did you write this song? Tell me something about it, it is very different song compared to the rest of album.

Glad that you like it! Yes, it’s very different from the other songs.
Actually, the first riff and the chorus riff in “Destruction” are really old riffs. I’ve always liked the groove in these riffs and in some way the song fits the album.

The song Bleeding is the similar thing. Great song! I would have to name every song separately. I really love this style. Inner Peace is just a cherry on top.

Cool that you love the songs.
Bleeding is cool, the respond of the song have been that there’s an Arch Enemy feeling to the song. Cool to be compared with Arch Enemy.

Inner Peace is also a bit different from the other songs.

You took care of production and Andy La Rocque had done the final mix. What was the cooperation with him like?

To cooperate with Andy is really great. He’s a cool guy and he knows his work.
I couldn’t have picked a better guy for the mix.

If I hear Gothenburg now… am I suppose to think Ruined soul?

Yes 🙂

I really love this kind of music since times of At the Gates and Eucharist. Although these bands are not from Gothenburg, am I right? Anyway bands like Ablaze My Sorrow, Sacrilege, Gromlech, Armagedon and especially Dissection. These are my favorites. Which bands meant something for you? I suppose you watched the development of these bands. How do you see them now?

Yes, you are right :).

Metallica was the band who made me start playing music. Metallica is the band who really had an impact on me. Nowadays, I don’t listen to Metallica that much. I’m a really big fan of the 80’ and 90’ Metallica. I listen to all kinds of music nowadays.

I can’t help myself but I am bit stuffed by bands like Soilwork, In flames, Children of Bodom, Scar symmetry. I mean they are great musicians and I still like their older albums but I can’t grasp the new material.
But in case of so called Gothenburg style I am still hungry. The more the better. How will you explain me that? Haha

All of these bands have change their style, in terms of develop their writing and so on. Everybody gets older and listens to other kinds of music, maybe this can have an impact on the new material for these bands. And you’re stuck in the past, HAHA! Was this a good answer?

Gothenburg School. When I´ve heard Ruined Soul, I thought, shit, this is it!!! Do you think that with the development of music styles with peaks and lows of certain styles… will this melodic death metal become so popular again as back in 90´s?

Awesome, really glad that you are excited about the album.
I don’t know, I hope so… I cross my fingers :).
Heavier stuff is more “accepted” nowadays, so it’s not impossible,

Ok, what can we expect next? I know it is too early but I am already curious about new songs? Is there anything new?

Well, as you said, it’s a bit too early to say. But of course I have some ideas for new songs.
The new material will rock… to be continued!

Johnny, how came this idea to build this solo project? Could you also please describe your background as a musician?

Actually it was the first riff of the track “My Dying Day” that started everything. I recorded the riff and wrote some more riffs that turned out to be a whole song. I was really satisfied with what I had accomplished and started to write more, and here we are today… AWESOME!

I started my music career as a bass player when I was about 15-16. As most of the youngsters out there, I started to play Metallica covers, but soon shifted into playing In Flames covers.
Death metal was the main music I played before I started Disdain 1998, and that’s when I picked up the guitar for the first time.
In the year 2000 I joined United Fools, as a bass player. We recorded a CD that was released in 2002 through the label Mad Dog Records. In 2004 I quit United Fools.
In 2006, Disdain was reincarnated, and now in March 2010 our debut album “Leave this World” will be released through Scarlet Records. Check this out at: www.disdain.se
In 2009, I started my solo project Ruined Soul, which is a death metal project with a lot of guests. The debut album “My Dying Day” will hit the stores April 23, 2010 through Suicide Records.

Do you think you are in special wish to control everything through your art? Have you lived some negative things or tested limits of a classic band’s configuration before to build Ruined Soul?

Yes, I want to have full control over Ruined Soul, that’s why I am the only member and writes everything. I have a vision, and I don’t want opinions from other people.
I also play in my other band Disdain, and it isn’t always the easiest to satisfy everybodys opionions and so on. This can have a negative impact sometimes, but of course… there can’t always be good times through life.

Were you the sole responsible for the writing of My Dying Day or have you sometimes called the other guests to help you, before the studio sessions?

I have written everything, which I am very proud of. I didn’t want anybody to help me out, except for the guest guitar solo apperances of course. It wouldn’t be guest guitar solos if I had written them.

Having all this guests… wasn’t it not too difficult to organize? Have they all given the sound to you through the internet or have some of them come to the studio physically?

It took a lot of time and energy to make this happen, it was a struggle. In the end, and with this result, it was totally worth it!
Actually, everybody recorded their stuff at home except for Patrik Johansson (growl) who I recorded.
I have written the lyrics and vocal lines, so it was necessary for me to record the vocals, to get it right.
With Tobias Jansson, who is singing the clean vocals on the track “Destruction”, I had recorded the vocal lines with my guitar and he recorded the vocals himself in his own studio.

Were some guests invited but finally not available?

I emailed a lot of guys and many didn’t responded and some couldn’t make it cause lack of time. The list is too long to mention, so this question will be a mystery about which guitarists was invited to guest “My Dying Day”… moohahahahah!

Through this importance given to the guests, do you try to establish Ruined Soul like an open entity, in its essence, and is the “guests” option something you expect to pursue on the next recordings?

Yes, I will pursue with guest apperances for the next album.

Metal is generally seen like music to exploit on stage. Do you have some “live” projects or do you simply consider that Ruined Soul will remain as a studio project?

Time will tell which direction Ruined Soul should take. I would love to play live with Ruined Soul, but I am satisfied with having this as a studio project as well… to be continued!

If live is programmed: on stage, do you think you’ll build a constant live line-up? Who will play with you?

The best would be to have a constant live line-up. Who the guys will be, well… this you’ll see when Ruined Soul play live, haha!

Guitars and global approach are linked to a certain idea of death metal on My Dying Day, in a “modern way” one would say. Gothenburg is known to be one of the principal sources on Earth for this style… Do you think that your local environment has had a concrete impact on your way to conceive, feel and perform music?

Of course “The Gothenburg Sound” has really influenced me a lot. I was grown here and I still live in Gothenburg. At the same time I don’t want to be a copycat, I want to do my own thing and I think that on “My Dying Day” you’ll hear something different.

Purists say that melodic death metal is a degerated way to approach death metal, they don’t like it. What kind of emotional state do you have face to the original death metal movement? Do you embrace the roots or do they stay far from you?

Everybody have their right to their opinion. I like the old death metal, it’s more brutal, but I also like melodic death metal. In some people’s eyes, death metal is kind of an underground genre and the melodic death metal took the death metal out of the underground and that could be a reason that the hardcore death metal fans don’t like melodic death metal. I might be wrong, but maybe this is one of the reasons.

How were you brought to work with Andy La Rocque on My Dying Day? How have you known him?

I didn’t know him in person before, but Andy La Rocque and his studio, Sonic Train Studios (earlier – Los Angered) is very famous for its sound. I have always liked his sound and thought that Ruined Soul would fit with Sonic Train Studios sound. It did, at least I think.

Has he given an artistic direction or have you kept the whole control, being the producer of the thing?
He haven’t given me any directions at all, he mixed and mastered the album.
I was in the studio through the whole mixing proccess. He told me that he liked what he heard, that’s why he didn’t give me any directions… I think :).

Concerning the artwork, how have you approached this aspect of things with Gustavo Sazes and had you cleared-up with him since the beginning the fact that you waited for a physical and bloody approach? Could it have been, in another way, an abstract picture, for example?

Actually, I didn’t give Gustavo Sazes any directions at all. I’ve seen his work and really like his art. He wanted to listen to some songs to get a feeling for the artwork, and then I gave him free hands. I knew that I could count on to have an amazing artwork.

How do you understand the image of the My Dying Day front cover?
I think it represents the album :). It’s brutal and beautiful, just like the music on the album.

TOP 5
Can you please put here the 5 albums the principal person(s) answering to this interview listen(s) to the more, these days? It can be whatever he/they like(s), in the metal sphere or not, some classics or new things, etc. …
Wow, tough question… I could give you a list of top 5 albums that have been important to me, not necessarily as a musician. Here we go:
1.Metallica – And Justice For All
2.Arch Enemy – Stigmata
3.Whitesnake – 1987
4.Soilwork – A Predator’s Portrait
5.Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh son.

First of all I’d like you to fill us in on what’s happening in the RUINED SOUL camp at the moment.

OK, here we go… this summer, I recorded a music video for the track “My Dying Day” and on August 20, the video had an exclusive premiere on Wackentube.
And… this video will also be featured on Metal Hammer’s (Germany) DVD which is included in the September issue.
The focus is pretty much on getting this video out there, to support the album.
That’s what up right now.

RUINED SOUL is not an actual band since you, Johnny, is the only member. Are you looking for a stable line up or will you continue like that and why?

Ruined Soul will still be a one-man band, for as long as I can.
It’s much easier this way, to have total control about everything. I have my vision about Ruined Soul and I don’t want anyone to “interfere” with my vision.
But if things start to roll really fast, maybe I have to consider a stable line-up.
We’ll see what the future brings.

In which ways is working alone easier and which are the problems and difficulties a musician has to face?

I think it’s much easier to work alone, you’re in total control and can take fast decisions and you can do your own thing without interference.
As a single member/person, I haven’t met any difficulties or problems… yet .

Not only did you write all the songs of this album on your own and played all the guitar and bass parts, but you’re also the producer behind it. Again why did you prefer to work on your own and not perhaps “trust” a more experienced or famous producer? You did leave the mixing and mastering of the album, though, to Andy La Rocque. Why?

I like to produce on my own and in my way. These days, I am confident in what I do and wanted to put myself to a test… and I think I managed 
Andy La Rocque was the right guy for the mixing and mastering part. I am a fan of his sound and have wanted to work with him for years. I finally got to work with Andy on this album, and I must say I am really satisfied with the sound.

Can you present “My Dying Day” to our readers in a few words? Which are the album’s highlights and which its weak moments or elements, according to you?

Well, I don’t think that there are any weak moments or elements, at all.
I think that this is a very balanced album, with fast hard hitting riffs blended with melodic stuff and I think that each song has highlights.

“My Dying Day” is full of guest musicians who contributed various parts. Do you wanna talk a bit about it? Who are these musicians? How did you get in touch with them and did you let them improvise and write their own parts?

Patrik Johansson (Arise) who handles the growl on the album is an old friend of mine.
I like his vocals and for me, he was the first choice to handle the growl.
Tobias Jansson (The Law) is a guy who I’ve been in contact for a long time. I really love his voice and I’m glad that he wanted to do the clean vocals on “Destruction”.
I have written all the vocals and I recorded all the growl vocals by myself and for Tobias, I recorded the vocal lines with my guitar and sent the vocal lines to Tobias.
Regarding the guitar solos… I contacted a lot of guitarists, through email, and the guys who guested the album were the first guys who said yes to guest the album. I really like all of their solo styles, that’s why I contacted these guys. All of the guitarists have written their own solos and recorded them by themselves. It went really smooth. If I had written all the solos, it wouldn’t be guest solos, if you know what I mean?
Here are all the solo guitarists: Matias Kupiainen (Stratovarius), Jonas Kjellgren (Scar Symmetry), Niklas Stålvind (Wolf), Eric Rauti (Dreamland), Marios Iliopoulos (Nightrage), Olof Mörck (Nightrage), Peter Huss (Shining), Jonas Hörnqvist (Treasure Land), Benny Jansson (Ride the Sky) and Janne Stark (Constancia).
Emanuel Johansson handles the drums for this album. He’s a really good drummer and helps me out when I need a drummer. He doesn’t play in a band nowadays.

The band exists for approximately a year and yet you managed to ink a deal right away and record your debut full length. How did this happen and how difficult is it for a new band to sign a good deal with a record label nowadays?

Yes, everything has gone really fast… it’s quite amazing.
I started Ruined Soul just for fun and here we are today. It’s still for fun but in a more serious way.
I think that this album speaks for itself and that’s why I think I got signed by a label.
I know, this maybe sounds cocky to you, but I’m really satisfied with this album.
Also, I am really satisfied with the situation and I’m curious about the future.
It’s very difficult to get a good deal nowadays. I even think it’s difficult for those bands that have been around for a while.

Why do you think you stand out from most melodic death metal bands out there? What do you believe you can offer to the metal scene?

Hard to say, there are tons of bands out there… but I think that my way of writing vocals for Ruined Soul stands out a little bit. I always write the vocals as melodies instead of just “scream over everything”.
I really do feel, that I have my own style of writing riffs and so on, that’s why I think, Ruined Soul maybe stands out from the rest and gives the scene something “new”.

What kind of procedure do you follow when you compose songs? Do you have to be in a certain state of mind in order to perform the songs as you want?

I really can’t be tired when I write music, nothing good comes out of my guitar when I’m tired. So I need my beauty sleep before I can write some awesome music .
I always write the music first and record a pre-production. After this is done, I write vocal melodies and at the same time the lyrics. This is how I always do.

Which song or songs do you think are the most ideal to represent the whole album’s essence?

The whole album, haha!
If I have to name a few I would say My Dying Day of course, Rewind, Alone and Death Gives New Life. These songs have all the elements that I mentioned before.

Which are your sources of inspiration when it comes to the lyrics? Which are the main topics you deal with?

My source of inspiration is me, I write about myself and my thoughts based on life.

Why did you name the album “My Dying Day”? It’s an intense title and yet very dark and gloomy.

The track “My Dying Day” represents the whole album I think, that’s why I chose to name the album “My Dying Day”. Actually, this was the first track that I wrote for Ruined Soul, so this song means a lot to me.

Who created the cover artwork? How is it connected to the album title and lyrics?

Gustavo Sazes (Abstrata – Art & Design) made this amazing artwork. He’s a master of transforming music into art.
Actually, I gave Gustavo free hands to do the artwork. I gave him a few songs and he created the artwork based on the music and the result was incredible.

Are you interested in doing live shows or is RUINED SOUL just a studio band? How are you promoting your work? What do you think of the use of the Internet? How helpful is it for a new band?

Of course it would be awesome to perform live with Ruined Soul and hopefully you’ll be able to see Ruined Soul live in the near future.
The guys in the video are the line-up for the liveshows, so I’m/we are prepared!
The Promotion companies are handling the “big” promotion stuff. I promote Ruined Soul in the cyberworld, mostly through Myspace, Facebook and Youtube.
Of course, my label also works on every level, to get this album out there.
Using internet is great for all bands, the cyberworld is so big. One way nowadays, is to create a street team. So internet is very important!

What kinds of feelings and thoughts do you think your music creates to your listeners?

Every listerners will have an adrenaline rush for sure!

Is there a phrase that you think describes RUINED SOUL in the best possible way?

You’ll get blown away!

Thank you! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for interviewing me and hopefully some folks will enjoy this interview, haha!
Feel free to check out my Myspace (www.myspace.com/ruinedsoulswe) for more information and the latest news about Ruined Soul.
Also, check out my other band, Disdain (www.myspace.com/disdainsweden), if you’re into melodic metal.
Cheers and take care folks… see you around!

EDITORIAL

RUINED SOUL – MY DYING DAY

Aïe aïe aïe, amis métalleux, aïe aïe aïe !

Nous voilà ici avec un album qui oscille entre deux voies, ne sachant où se diriger.

Sachez tout d’abord que ce groupe est celui d’un seul et même homme, en la personne de Jonnhy Johansson, qui s’occupe des guitares (lead, rythmique et basse). Celui-ci a donc fait appel à quelques invités pour lui filer un généreux coup de main derrière les fûts et le micro.

C’est ainsi qu’on se retrouve avec des zicos qui, clairement, maitrisent leurs instruments. Les fûts sont martelés à un rythme métronomique, et comme souvent dans ce genre, dépourvus de la moindre once d’humanité (entendez par là que le jeu manque de groove et sonne presque “boîte à rythmes sohistiquée”). Le chant alterné -ou parfois doublé en studio- black/death apporte un peu de puissance et se montre intéressant. Mais là aussi c’est trop stéréotypé et déjà-vu pour prétendre être réellement efficace. Je ne m’attarderai pas sur le jeu de basse, tant celui-ci est quasi-inexistant (sauf sur My dying days, où elle créé une sorte de (légère) distorsion rythmique), comme hélas nous le constatons trop souvent dans le death mélodique suédois.

Le réel intérêt de cet album réside dans ses guitares, qui se livrent parfois à des soli intéressants (comme sur Rewind où il dure près d’un minute), ou même des passages groovy bien comme il faut (le pont de Bleeding) et apportent de la fraîcheur et de la tonalité à cet album qui en souffre cruellement.

Oui, cet album manque de fraîcheur, car au bout d’un quart d’heure on commence à se demander si « ça va changer un jour » (le riff de Bleeding (sixème titre de l’album, tout de même) est très proche de celui de My dying day (qui est le premier morceau)), on attend ce petit coup de slap ravageur qui va (faire) exploser l’album et nos oreilles, cette petite envolée rythmique qui va nous captiver et nous faire accrocher jusqu’au bout. Mais cela n’intervient qu’à trop petites doses pour être vraiment efficace (le riff de Tears of guilt, qui, bien que répétitif, est prenant).

L’autre reproche que l’on pourra faire à cet album est sa trop grande distance par rapport l’auditeur (c’est une image bien sûr !). L’absence (ou presque !) de basse éloigne l’auditeur de la musique. On prend certes du plaisir à écouter, mais on n’est pas…disons…comme envoûté par une force mystique qui prolonge le plaisir au-delà de quelques écoutes, or c’est généralement ce que l’on attend. On se dit « ah ouais, ils sont pas mauvais les musiciens », mais au final il n’y a pas de réelle plongée possible au coeur de l’album, qui finit petit à petit par devenir un bourdonnement mélodique, qui résonne dans nos oreilles, et n’a pas l’effet « entraînant » que l’on attend d’un album de death mélodique.

Attention cependant. J’ai l’air de descendre cet album, mais finalement je lui ai mis une note correcte. Disons que c’est parce que le tout ne s’enchaîne pas trop mal. Certes, c’est stéréotypé, c’est déjà-vu, c’est tout ce que vous voulez, mais ce n’est pas réellement mauvais. On sent une certaine débauche d’énergie (ou plutôt une débauche d’énergie certaine), et la courte durée de l’album (comptez une quarantaine de minutes) nous permet de ne pas trop se lasser (si cet album avait duré plus d’une heure il n’aurait pas vraiment mérité cette note); lassitude qui est parfois effacée, comme je l’ai déjà dit, par les guitares lead et rythmiques qui, quand elles s’associent à un jeu de batterie intéressant (Inner Peace) ou se livrent dans des soli du plus bel effet (Rewind), deviennent géniales et vraiment trippantes.

C’est donc avec un avis mitigé qu’on sort de cette écoute. D’un côté, les musiciens maitrisent leurs instrus, ils savent ce qu’ils font, c’est indéniable et ça se ressent dans une musique techniquement excellente. Mais d’un autre côté c’est trop stréotypé pour être réellement poignant, pour s’envoler au septième ciel comme on aimerait le faire. My dying days est fort heureusement sauvé par des soli intéressants disséminés ici et là, mais hélas ces soli sont l’arbre qui cache la forêt. My dying days, c’est un peu comme ces soirs où l’on attend vainement de réussir à s’endormir: il y a quelque chose qui empêche de roupiller, et quand enfin on s’envole pour le pays des songes, c’est pour mieux se réveiller en ronchonnant parce que l’on arrive pas à dormir. Et c’est assez frustrant…

RUINED SOUL

Parfois, les intentions artistiques sont clairement affichées et servent même de message promotionnel ! Dans le cas présent et personne ne s’y trompera, il s’agit de “Gothenburg Sound”, estampille aussi prestigieuse s’il en est. Ce son de Göteborg, maintes et maintes fois cité en référence et qui donna au Death Metal un peu plus de couleur et de vélocité mélodique aux débuts des années 90… une approche dynamique, mélodique et très heavy de faire du Death Metal en somme !

Réunis autour d’un seul directeur de projet (Johnny Johansson – guitares, basse), les nombreux intervenants se bousculent pour apposer une signature sur ce grand cahier des charges. On retrouve dans le désordre : Matias Kupiainen – Stratovarius, Niklas Stålvind – Wolf, Peter Huss – Shining, Jonas Kjellgren – Scar Symmetry, Benny Jansson – Ride The Sky, Marios IIiopoulos – Nightrage, Jonas Hörnqvist – Treasure Land, Janne Stark – Constancia, Olof Mörck – Nightrage.

Quant au contenu du disque, quelques écoutes suffisent pour se convaincre d’un résultat final en demi-teinte ! D’une efficacité et d’une intensité redoutable, certaines compositions séduiront immédiatement (“My dying Day”, “Divided” purement jouissif) tandis que d’autres arracheront probablement chez l’auditeur un signe de désappointement (“Destruction”, heavy et de très mauvais goût et “Rivers of Blood” anecdotique au possible). On retrouve sur ce disque tous les éléments qui ont donné à ce sous-genre une distinction particulière : guitares racées et affutées, soutien mélodique omniprésent et spectaculaire, armature rythmique puissante et sens aigu du songwriting. Forcément, des noms tels In Flames, Dark Tranquility et Arch Enemy s’imposent immanquablement au gré des écoutes. Les dix titres mixés par Andy LaRocque mettent en exergue des musiciens maitrisant leur sujet avec une dextérité et une détermination certaine. Facile d’accès, sans aucune surprise, efficace dans sa forme d’expression, on regrettera juste que la constance qualitative n’ai pas été conviée au studio d’enregistrement et qu’aucun éclair de génie vienne éclater ici ou là !

Agréable d’écoute sans bousculer quoi que ce soit, “My Dying Day” peut être considéré comme un disque “hommage”, une révérence à une scène Metal principalement associée à une zone géographique. Ce disque ne démérite pas, il répond simplement au minimum que l’on est en droit d’attendre.
Est-ce suffisant?

RELEASES

Ruined Soul - My Dying Day

2010 • CAT# SR006