You may not know the name (yet) but if you’re a fan of wrestling’s hottest promotion right now, then chances are you already know the sounds of AEW’s Music Production Coordinator. Do you find yourself headbanging to Thunder Rosa’s primal Metal march? Bouncing when Eddie Kingston enters the ring for another fire promo? Dancing uncontrollably when The Hybrid 2 strut through those tunnels? Smiling for no reason whatsoever when Best Friends accompanied by Orange Cassidy make their grand entrance? Then you already know Mikey Rukus.
As a kid (Let’s be honest, young adult) and lifelong metalhead working in a record store through the 2000’s, I was able to devour ALL the later Nu-Metal bands that labels were scooping up and spitting out at a frenetic pace. Bands like Skrape and American Head Charge especially who were experimenting more because they could by adding samples and Electro elements were just as important as your more mainstream Static-X’s and Linkin Park’s.
And that’s the spirit that AEW’s resident sound wizard channels on the aptly titled Bring The Rukus which honors that period with a ferocious batch of tunage that has the heaviest guitars, all the pummeling beats, and gruff vocal deliveries mixed with vicious growls that go for the biggest choruses each and every time.
Kicking it all off with “LET ME GO” featuring Tommy Roulette, listeners are instantly transported to a tumultuous time when Max Cavalera had just delivered the most definitive album of his career thus far with Sepultura and was then subsequently ousted from that band. But from that, fans got Soulfly and eventually Cavalera Conspiracy and here, on Bring The Rukus, we get one Heavy ass tone setter replete with shout outs to that iconic Seps record toward song’s conclusion.
“RISE” which arrives next is probably the most indicative of Bring The Rukus on the whole, though, as this modern Nu-Metal anthem is built from a killer almost Chester Bennington-esque chorus surrounded by swirling synth sounds before throwing in some sick guitar soloing hearkening back to the awesome ’80’s.
“ENEMY” is like Soulfly’s “Jumdafuckup” mixed with Static-X’s whole sonic aesthetic and is the one that’ll cause the stampede toward the mosh pit if we ever get back to those times with “BLOOD ON MY HANDS” continuing the trend as Rukus infuses his soulful chops into this blistering beast.
“BLOW IT UP” is a stunning stomper driven by mechanical riffage and a focus on Rukus’ Hip-Hop vocal flow while “HEADED TO NOWHERE” is equally immense and meticulously crafted, heading toward an arena-ready gargantuan chorus. Following that back-to-back double whammy, “NO CONTROL” is like the nastiest Crazy Town jam ever (Shut up, they ruled back in the day!) combined with the symphonic epicness of Within Temptation thanks to assistance from Doe The Paperboy’s sick rhymes and Tristan McIntosh’s sweeping passages.
Like those huge Marvel Comics crossover events where you don’t get the whole picture unless you pick up ALL the books running concurrent to the main story, AEW’s weekly Being The Elite YouTube series fleshes out many a running plot in Dynamite. And if you are an avid viewer of that series then chances are you witnessed the world premiere of “GHOST TOWN” featuring none other than wrestling legend (And current AEW mainstay) Matt Hardy. Directed by Hardy’s wife, Reby, the clip is haunting and harrowing like the track itself and features a rare guest appearance from DAMASCUS!
“LIE” ups the intensity, the volume, the everything while “ALL GOOD FORGOTTEN” tones it down a little as this moving track focuses on Rukus’ clean delivery before “FACEDOWN” (Also the AEW Dark theme) goes for the jugular on a bangin’ track that’s like B-Real mixing it up with Ill Nino at their heaviest. And then there’s one last blast of AEW goodness with the REVOLUTION REMIX of “REVELATION” which instantly pops thanks to this unholy union of Drum ‘N Bass, Dubstep, and the almighty METAL!
Bring The Rukus lands on January 15th via EOne Music. You can pre-save the album now on all your favorite digital platforms by heading here. For the latest on Mikey Rukus, head to his main site here or check out the socials for the most up-to-date news here, here, and here. And of course, check your local listings for his latest entrance themes weekly on AEW Dark and AEW Dynamite.