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Ruined Soul - My Dying Day

Ruined Soul
My Dying Day
by Panos Pagonopoulos at 21 April 2010, 12:04 PM

RUINED SOUL is an one-man project created by Johnny Johansson who is also the guitarist of the Swedish band DISDAIN (which have also recently released their debut album “Leave This World”). Johnny Johansson has grown up and is still living in Gothenburg ,Sweden so he was really influenced by the melodic Death Metal “Gothenburg” sound. The recent years he had written some melodic Death material and had some ideas that didn't fit the style of his main band DISDAIN. So he decided to give birth to RUINED SOUL, combining the old material with some new stuff and released his debut album called “My Dying Day”.

To review and get the complete picture of the album I had to take under consideration some important factors. First of all RUINED SOUL are literally Johnny Johansson, who plays all the lead & rhythm guitars (except from the solos), acoustic guitars and bass on the album and also has done the production of it. Everything else is done by guests. He also wrote all the music and lyrics. Secondly DISDAIN is his main project and focus; RUINED SOUL were created for his own personal satisfaction and fun. But the most important factor is that all the guests worked in very relaxing conditions from their homes , without particular guidelines and pressure. Johnny Johansson recorded everything in his home studio, Patrik Johansson (of ARISE) recorded all the growls and death vocals at his home and the same did Tobias Jansson (of THE LAW) who did the clean vocals for the song “Destruction”. Also in every song the solos are done by guest guitarists to whom Johnny Johansson send them the songs and gave complete freedom with not a single guideline to do their own thing (for each song there is a guest guitarist). Among them there are some familiar names such as Jonas Kjellgren (of SCAR SYMMETRY), Matias Kupiainen (of STRATOVARIUS ), Marios Iliopoulos and Olof Mörck (both playing in NIGHTRAGE).

So it's time to get to the point, talk about the “My Dying Day” album itself and see how these factors affected the final outcome. Working in an environment with no pressure or guidelines is really relaxing for the musicians and I am sure that Johnny Johansson had a great time working with musicians he wanted to or admires and enjoyed the whole process but giving complete freedom can easily lead to lack of cohesion in the songs. Also he surely mostly concentrated in his main band DISDAIN who released their debut album just one month ago. This lack of cohesion can be noticed mostly in the solos, where some fit really well, others you can see that give an interesting result adding other elements (such us Power and Heavy Metal) but don't completely fit with the melodic Death style of the album and others sound completely unfamiliar. This is because most of the guest guitarists don't play melodic Death and so when you give them total freedom it is absolutely logical to put something of their own personal style in the solo and that's what makes the outcome risky and unpredictable.

“My Dying Day” has the classic melodic Death Metal sound and everything you would expect from an artist that is influenced by the “Gothenburg” sound. I am a big fan of this kind of music, the album has some good moments but never really managed to impress me. It is not bad but it lacks of cohesions and after some time I just couldn't find a good reason to listen to it again. The songs that mostly stand out are the title track, “Death Gives New Life” and “Rewind” which I believe are one level higher from the rest with interesting riffs and well fitting solos. Among the positive facts are the good mixing/mastering by Andy LaRocque,the well-known guitarist of KING DIAMOND, and the beautiful artwork by Gustavo Sazes (ARCH ENEMY , DREAM EVIL etc).

In the end Johnny Johansson has done a really good effort and considering all the above factors and conditions under which it was created I can say that the result is satisfying. However there are hundreds of bands at the same level and style and nothing really sets RUINED SOUL apart from them.

2 Star Rating

  1. My Dying Day
  2. Rivers Of Blood
  3. Destruction
  4. Death Gives New Life
  5. Rewind
  6. Bleeding
  7. Tears Of Guilt
  8. Inner Piece
  9. Divided
  10. Alone
Johnny Johansson – Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Bass

Guest Vocalists:
Patrik Johansson (ARISE)
Tobias Jansson (THE LAW)

Guest Guitarists (only for solos):
Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY)
Matias Kupiainen (STRATOVARIUS)
Marios Iliopoulos
Niklas Stålvind (WOLF)
Benny Jansson (RIDE THE SKY)
Eric Rauti (DREAMLAND)
Jonas Hörnqvist (TREASURE LAND)
Janne Stark (CONSTANCIA)
Peter Huss (SHINING)
Record Label: Suicide Records


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Edited 07 February 2023

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