Engine of Hell

Emma Ruth Rundle - Engine of Hell
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2021 Ratings: #187 / 661
User Score
Based on 119 ratings
2021 Ratings: #220
Liked by 8 people
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It’s another impressive piece of art from the everchanging Emma Ruth Rundle, and the beginning of something entirely different from the wandering artist.


This newfound instrumental austerity can be forbidding at first, but repeated spins reveal lyrically acute portraits of grieving a family member during childhood; a loved one battling addiction; and, less ominously, enjoying music with a friend.


Engine Of Hell is not only a testament to her seemingly endless talent, but an unadulterated glimpse at a human being’s soul.

The Skinny

Despite featuring only acoustic instruments, Emma Ruth Rundle's Engine of Hell is a heavy album that reaches unflinchingly back into the past.

FLOOD Magazine

A journey leading back into itself like an ouroboros, Engine of Hell lingers upon completion and offers new, deeper meaning with every return.


Rundle has tempered her sweeping post-rock cinematics with lyrical vulnerability in the past, but Engine of Hell is a braver and bolder beast, as it lays bare the soul of its creator and dares the listener to reckon with it.

Loud and Quiet
There’s no denying these songs are straight from Rundle’s heart; what they’re lacking, however, is a body.
A thousand miles different in sound from its predecessor but with the more acoustic and bare instrumentation, Emma Ruth Rundle has never been this closer. With lyrics as dark and grim as the album title, Rundle goes through themes of death of another and one's self all while accompanied by a simple yet gradually getting louder echoes of a piano, a guitar, and both. The last song gave me goosebumps as the words she's singing are descriptive and take you into this vision until you remember where ... read more
Lyrically, it's filled with heart and soul, but sonically it's too monotonous and uninteresting for me to enjoy.
Emma Ruth Rundle - Engine of Hell

Genre: Folk
Country: US

Final Verdict: 57% (Pleasant Album)
Yearly Ranking: 658th / 919

Highlight: The Company

Made me think of:
Angel Olsen
Sharon von Etten
Aimee Mann
First of all, I've only known of Emma Ruth Rundle by her collaboration with Thou and her featuring on a Thrice's track, and I probably should've listened to some other projects from her first, but for some reason I wanted to get introduced to her original sound with this release. Anyway, I'm not experienced on this type of music, and most of the time, I usually avoid most singer/songwriter projects, but for some reason Engine of Hell caught my interest back when I listened to the single Blooms ... read more
The captivating Engine Of Hell, the newest record by Emma Ruth Rundle is a slow burn of emotive narrative driven songwriting, her entwined haunting vocals perhaps the most intense and intimate she has ever been.

Previous singles Return and Blooms Of Oblivion have this pretty dark undercurrent that gives an insight of what’s to come on the album. Although at a slower pace than previous records, Rundle’s true efforts of crafting something so beautiful in mood and atmosphere is so ... read more
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Contributions By
anztec, Novell_sx, fdrc, gbar25, patton

Added on: September 9, 2021