Juliet Ruin – Dark Water

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label URL: Self Released
Released: 2021
Buy Album [URL]: Merch | Juliet Ruin (bandcamp.com)
Band Website: Juliet Ruin

Band Line-up:

Kent Geislinger – Guitar
Jess Fleming – Vocals
Wesley Rands – Guitar
Cody Reid – Bass
Jesse Bauman – Drums


01. Dark Water
02. Cosmic Vertigo
03. Fake Stigmata
04. Might


For fans of the likes of Jinjer, Butcher Babies, and Killswitch Engage: a swim in the murky depths might just be what you need, and ‘Juliet Ruin – Dark Water,’ could make you afraid to dive back in!!

From the ashes of an old project, ‘Fiction of Fate,’ and an urge to fuse the metal sound with a cleaner and more technical style of vocal delivery, ‘Juliet Ruin’ was born, all the way back in 2015. Comprised of Jess Ruin (vocals), Kent Geislinger (guitar/backing vocals), Wesley Rands (guitar), Cody Reid (bass/backing vocals), and Jesse Bauman (drums), the quintet prides themselves on creating an original sound, full of catchy hooks that convey a fresh and emotive feel to their heavy music, with lyrics, you can shout in anger!

Without knowing anything about, or hearing anything from ‘Juliet Ruin’ prior to this 4 track EP, I go in with open ears and armbands at the ready. The titular track of the EP, Track 01. ‘Dark Water,’ slowly comes into focus from silence, into a thumping, throbbing, and foot-stomping, almost military beat, compliments of some heavy guitars and attention-commanding drums. Frontwoman Jess Ruin eases her way in, showing off the clean vocals the band promotes, and they aren’t wrong. Jess is clearly a talented vocalist, serenading us with a soft and melodic performance before the rough and tumble music behind her. Suddenly, Jess springs into life, not that she wasn’t before, but as soon as her pipes open and the growls come out, she is ready to showcase to the world just what she can do!

As I flail about in the dark water, trying to get my head to the surface to take a breath, track 02. ‘Cosmic Vertigo,’ comes along and pushes my head below again; and I’m not even sad about it.

I think I’m getting a good feel for Juliet Ruin and their current style of music, it’s a welcome change and feels oddly different from anything I’ve heard in a while. The introduction to the track is another shoulder bobber, with the guitar taking little breaks to really get you moving. If you don’t think Jess’s vocals could get angrier, you’d be wrong, because they do, and it really does put the cherry on the cake for these tracks so far, and with a song name such as ‘Cosmic Vertigo,’ what more could you possibly want?

Heavy vocals and slamming guitar; my favourite of which being a solo in track 03. ‘Fake Stigmata,’ run through this album like…water…dark water… ‘Fake Stigmata’ is a real stand-out track for me on this EP. It’s super heavy, super technical and Jess Ruin digs deeper than ever to produce some intense and brilliant vocals to command the dark and fearsome number, onwards.

As I’m pulled ashore by David Hasselhoff, who promptly gives me the kiss of life and helps to remove the water from my lungs, I’m compelled to return to the murky depths, and I do, for one more song. The final song on ‘Juliet Ruin – Dark Water,’ is an absolute smorgasbord of different feelings. It’s dark and brooding, it is technically wonderful, it is black metal, it’s not black metal, it’s rough and it’s soft – It’s brilliant, and a perfect way to end the adventure.

What I find great about this EP, is the continual build-up as the record progresses. Just when you think it’s reached its heaviest, it slaps you on the snorkel and demands you see what it must show you next, and it just keeps getting heavier. Technically clever, lyrically smart, and wonderfully produced, ‘Juliet Ruin – Dark Water,’ is a winner for me, and I can’t wait to see what the group brings to the table next.


Review by Rebecca Bush