Descent Into Hades

Ruler are a heavy metal band from Italy formed in 2010 releasing their debut album 'Evil Nightmares' in 2012. The bands second album 'Rise To Power' followed the year after, with 'Descent Into Hades', the bands third album, released in 2019.    
Taking on the iconic sound of British heavy metal and more specifically the NWOBHM sound, Ruler deliver eight, very hard hitting and majestic songs over a breathless forty five minutes, exploding into life with the rampaging "foot on the monitor" 'Black Hand'. Combining riffage more associated with British legends Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, 'Black Hand' is a thrilling roller coaster ride of pounding rhythms, setting the album off in glorious style. With more explosiveness than a Times Square New Year fireworks celebration, 'Descent Into Hades' (the album) thunders on with the power metal tinged 'Queen Of Danger'. Head bangingly addictive and one hundred percent infectious, 'Queen Of Danger' is an immediate like, has a sing a long style chorus and nods its head hard in the direction of the mid eighties NWOBHM evolution. For someone like me who grew up alongside this evolution, Ruler have found my sweet spot when it comes to the heavy metal sound I crave. Clean and clear vocals aids the easy listen ability of 'Descent Into Hades', which marches on majestically with the heavy hitting and stomping 'Airstrip 1'. Chiming in at over nine minutes in length, 'Airstrip 1' has a distinct Saxon influence here, with bold riffing and a thunderous rhythm, guaranteed to make you stomp your feet very hard, and punch the air even harder.    
'Melanie' gallops into view and storms off at a mid to high tempo pace, more hard rocking than anything else on offer, but most definitely coming at you from the heavy metal genre. Touches of AOR are plastered all over 'Melanie' as it struts its stuff in such a majestic way, it's almost regal. Ruler have shown their versatility across the first half of this album, showing maturity and growth since their first two albums. The second half gets underway with the title song, the instrumental 'Descent Into Hades'. For those who have been singing, screaming or screeching along to the albums first four songs, you now have a five minute breather to regain your composure. Heavy and full of thunder, 'Descent Into Hades' (the song) is a head banger, a foot stomper, and a glorious "sit back and delight in" style romp.    
'Prisoners In Hell' begins the albums countdown, and what a way to begin... Opening with a guitar riff straight out of the NWOBHM era, 'Prisoners In Hell' is old school all the way. And sometimes old school is the only way. Pace and power combine perfectly and is reminiscent of the passion that the early bands from the NWOBHM displayed. Bands such as Angel Witch, Raven and Iron Maiden - the epitome of British heavy metal. And remember, Ruler are an Italian band, not a British one...! Maybe Britain should adopt them, or at the very least make them an honorary British citizen... Food for thought, and while chewing that over, 'The Shunt' takes front and centre, boldly strutting its stuff, planting feet on the monitor, raising fists high in the air and banging heads hard. 'The Shunt' is another rampant power metal/traditional heavy metal crossover, galloping on at pace, delivering everything the NWOBHM has to offer - and have I mentioned this is from a non British band? Ruler bring their third album to a close with the six minutes plus epic 'Alibi', displaying a major Iron Maiden influence. A mellow intro is taken over by shuddering guitar riffage, and the heaviest foot stomping rhythm the album has to offer. Ruler really have delivered a cracking album of NWOBHM aura and awe, and any lover of that era's sound is gonna lap this album up.    
Overall, a glorious gallop of traditional heavy metal, delivered with passion and pride and one hundred percent infectious.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV