Local band is the only one of its kind

You don’t hear a lot of death metal in east Scarborough, but a local band is hoping to change local music trends a bit from hip-hop and rap.

In fact, according to the band members of From Ruins, they are the only representatives of the genre around here.

Local death metal band From Ruins perform at Reilly's Bar in Toronto.
Local death metal band From Ruins perform at Reilly’s Bar in Toronto.

“We are the metal scene [in east Scarborough] as far as I can tell,” said bassist Erik Kiiskinen, 17, a former student at Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute who’s one of four members in From Ruins.

Death metal is an extreme form of metal music involving deep growling vocals, heavy guitars, and blast-beat drumming. The leading bands in the genre include Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, and Kataklysm.

Sebastian Biega, who is the vocalist and plays guitar in From Ruins, said there are a few metal bands in the area that share somewhat of the same musical interest as his band. But he said, “there is definitely not a scene.”

Biega also said finding his fellow band members in east Scarborough was a challenge. He said it took him and guitarist David Muir two years to find competent and talented musicians like Kiiskinen as well as the band’s drummer Matt Rogge.

“There are plenty of musicians in the area, but very slim numbers of metal fans who are into metal composition,” Biega said.

The members of From Ruins live around the Port Union Rd. and Lawrence Ave. E. area, so they are very much residents of the east end.

“Crime is not rampant and it seems peaceful enough,” Kiiskinen said. “You can always find something to do if you look hard enough, but the band is definitely my main creative output.”

From Ruins formed in 2005. Biega said technical bands like Disavowed and Decapitated have influenced his band’s more recent material. He also said From Ruins is ready to get into the studio and get this new material recorded.

From Ruins currently have a four-track demo that they recorded last year. Biega said he hopes to have a full-length album done by December.

“We have enough material for an eight to nine track album,” Biega said. “But getting an album recorded before the end of the year may be a stretch.”

Biega said the problem at this point in his band’s career is money; they just don’t have the funds to record yet.

But at only 18 years old, Biega and his band-mates who are also in their late teens, have already started to create a buzz in the Toronto metal scene even without a professionally recorded album.

Former Scarborough resident Johnathon Gough is a concert promoter who organizes metal shows in Toronto. He said From Ruins have performed at one of his recent shows and he plans on working with them again.

“From Ruins is an excellent addition to Toronto’s grind and death metal scene,” Gough said. “I look forward to seeing how they progress with time.”

Right now From Ruins is focused on playing more shows and getting new people interested in their music.

“I’d like to see us on a regular touring schedule in five years with some talent under our belts,” Biega said. “I hope to see kids throwing up their devil horns and banging their heads to the sound of our live music.”

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