I know what you’re thinking, calm down, I’ll get to it right away – yes. After hearing their new single, “Confrere,” I can confidently say that Philadelphia dungeon-punks Poison Ruïn have totally earned the umlaut in their name.

Now, on with the rest of the article; Philadelphia rock band Poison Ruïn (and their dungeon-synth side-project Shadow Knell) just dropped new singles, “Confrere” and “Night River” respectively. “Confrere,” which comes ahead of the EP of the same name, is a dingy little liturgy that will strike some as incredibly corny and others (namely, myself) as the coolest song ever. It’s a dark fantasy epic that melds the riffage of power metal, the snottiness of crust punk, and the low-fidelity of European black metal. Between the muffled vocals and muddy instrumental, one can only imagine Poison Ruïn recording this track underwater, trapped beneath a lake of blood as they do battle with krakens and sea hags and [looking through my D&D monster guide] aboleths? Sure, why not. 

In contrast to the orc-like brutishness of “Confrere” is “Night River,” a brooding dungeon synth piece blanketed in tape static that slowly breaks into a triumphant, Vangelis-esque outro. It’s a slow, uneasy soundscape that plays like the soundtrack to a cheesy Satanic-Panic-era TV movie you find on VHS at a garage sale. Both tracks are accompanied by videos shot in greyscale and filtered through an absurd amount of VHS generation loss; I suspect that an evil wizard (who probably also has an umlaut in their name) color-graded these murky messes and imbued them with a dark spell that compels me to turn my screen brightness all the way up just to see anything. Tabbing between the “Night River” video and the blindingly-white Google doc I write this article in is slowly burning a hole through my eyes. In other words; no notes, it’s perfect.

Confrere and Shadow Knell drop August 2nd; you can see them playing Foto Club here in Philly on July 22nd, and earlier at Stroudsburg’s Sherman Theater on June 30th with local metal faves Baroness. Details at the WXPN Concert Calendar. Check out the videos for “Confrere” and “Night River” yeselves… but beware of what lurks in their world of brave knights, evil spirits, and guitar solos…

POISON RUÏN - Confrere (Official Lyric Video)
SHADOW KNELL - Night River (Official Music Video)