Having given the 6 discs from Fallen Temple a spin and offered them out for review this one sat here for a while without being claimed. Great, as when I went back to it for another play I realised in no uncertain terms that it was the best of the bunch and I had a great album on my hands. Ruho are a Finnish black metal band and although not as filthy as some of their compatriots they definitely have a scuzzy edge. Somewhat at odds with that though, this their second full length release is a highly classy affair. The quartet’s name may translate to Carcass but that is not what this is all about in a musical sense.

The Devout Thrum is presented over 4 lengthy tracks and runs just over the ¾ of an hour mark. Having said that there is not a huge differential on style and sound between each of them but that matters not one bit as the way this is presented makes it highly compulsive listening. With the opening ‘Disastrous Murmur’ eerie ambience builds into a hypnotically unravelling guitar riff, drums batter in and pace is turbulent. As the vocalist unleashes a bloodthirsty scream and things fly off the handle and blaze away without a shred of mercy. Stylistically one may be reminded of the fervour of a band such as Wiegedood but as the highly controlled tempest rages away the thorny guitar melodicism begins to present another focus for the attention. Essentially what I am reminded of is a bridge between the rawness (although much better production) of Hate Forest through to the intricacy of early Drudkh here. It isn’t all delivered at breakneck pace and things are allowed to settle into craggy vocal nooks and crannies but this is all a prelude for the vocalist to hoarily rasp out lyrical “fire” and things to plough off again in another maddening dash. As one tumult breaks into a short passage of darkened ambience it is not long before the guitars bloom back into life and furrow into another tumultuous pile up, in this case ‘Vestigial Rites’ complete with some strange disconcerting howls nestling right in the background way behind the main feral misanthropic preaching.

“Wild and windswept” is probably the best descriptor of what is going on here although despite the incredibly violent full-pelt demeanour and length of tracks it is neither without atmosphere or boring in the slightest. This is a band who quickly reach a climax but keep building and building upon it. Wallop, crash, bang thud; Blooming Carrions drummer EvM is not messing about and having a huge workout, the twin guitars are flailing like crazy and the vocals raging. There is no downtime as we are pitched headlong into ‘Unpure Shibboleth’ and to say it is explosive would be an understatement. If you like your black metal to leave you feeling nothing short of breathless this is what you want to be listening to. Totally immersed in the dextrous riffing longest segment ‘Devoured To Dust’ is left to trample all to dirt with grim and headstrong determination. I’m kinda running out of superlatives on this right now and having listened quite a few times to this the urgent clamour helping somewhat with the crazed situation we find ourselves in right now, I know it is going to keep shredding and blasting until silence is restored once more.

Ruho have delivered something rather spectacular here and as you probably now have all the time in the world at your disposal you should definitely follow ‘The Devout Thrum’ and explore it fully.

(8.5/10 Pete Woods)