Hardcore is about release; metal is about control. Put them together and you get a contradiction with guitars -- one that bands typically deal with by throwing most of their weight into one style and retaining only the veneer of the other. Not A Wilhelm Scream. On Ruiner, the New Bedford, Massachusetts, quintet barrels through 14 tracks that evenly meld hardcore bluster and metal technique. Throughout the album, scruffy riffs alternate with shiny, airtight arpeggios, the time-honored hardcore paddleball beat giving way to hairpin tempo shifts, the vocals demonstrating a little noted similarity between Bad Religion-derived punk harmony and metal operatics. But whereas last year's Mute Print was the sound of a band stating its thesis, Ruiner is a more seamless alloy of styles. And the songs -- daft titles aside ("When I Was Alive: Walden III") -- are tuneful and succinct, utilizing the emo lilt to catchier effect than most comparable bands. Explore a contradiction long enough and it starts to make sense.