Ruination is the second album from Finnish progsters Kairon; IRSE! and it sure is an intriguing piece. It’s something a little different and is quite the grower as the more you listen to it, the more engaging it gets as you can’t help but notice extra details on each listen. And additionally, just take a look at the stunning artwork – the attention to detail and complexity to it is fantastic, and really fits well with the overall mood and feel to the music.
For the most part, Ruination is instrumentally driven, with a few pepperings of vocals here and there, and this approach works well for the band. They treat the vocals as another instrument, rather than leaving them in the lead role from start to finish, and this makes for a more varied and engaging listen as a result. The big, soaring instrumentation is brilliant and when coupled with the largely falsetto vocals, the combination gives the music a rather epic vibe as a whole.
A particular highlight is the track Starik. As well as featuring an excellent avant-garde saxophone solo – in my opinion, you can never go wrong with a sax line in prog music, especially when it’s in a style such as this – the construction of the track as a whole is great. From the softer sections with gently delivered vocals, to the thicker and more in-your-face walls of instrumentation, the track takes numerous different twists and turns, and really keeps you on your toes as it progresses as you never quite know where it’s going to go next!
As a whole, Kairon; IRSE! have crafted a rather great listen. It’s perhaps best appreciated when listened to all in one go, as it’s almost like a story in the way the tracks move from one to the next, but don’t let that put you off – it’s an impressive collection of songs showcasing a high standard of musicianship.