Massachusetts metal masters Within the Ruins are releasing their fifth album, Halfway Human. It is political, personal, progressive, technical, and triumphant. It is a record that’s easy to lose yourself in both lyrically and instrumentally. Halfway Human is full-way wonderful.
Halfway Human has a sound made from several of heavy genres; it’s hard to pigeonhole this album into any particular subgenre of metal. Lyrically, the songs are relatable, in this contemporary moment and beyond. “Incomplete Harmony” might be the most personal, but still maintains a universality. It’s about struggling with the grind of daily life. Oppositely, “Sky Splitter” deals with coming to terms with death; another topic all of us have dealt with. The band also continue their tradition of instrumental odysseys with “Ataxia IV.” I’m not a fan of purely instrumental tracks, but this one is just damn epic.
The record is fun, brutal and thought-provoking without being too lyrically complex. It does a little bit of everything, which makes it a winner. This is an album that most likely will keep its value for years. Hopefully, Within the Ruins can one-up themselves in future releases.