For this album, Tibet and Cashmore drew heavily upon medieval music, directly adapting or drawing inspiration from a suite of liturgical, consort and funeral pieces by composers such as Anthony Holborne, William Lawes and Calum Ruadh. This gives the album a courtliness and melodic coherence that stands out in Current 93's considerable oevre. The production on the album is also first-rate, highlighting each resonant pluck of the guitars, with a canny use of echo and reverb that punctuates the text.
Even with the artwork, newer fans of Current 93 have ample reason to rejoice. This album not only fills in the missing link between its better-known bookends, but it is also a striking masterpiece of subtlety and restrained beauty.
This release falls into that portion of Current 93's discography which also includes the "Inmost Light Trilogy", which consists of the EP Where the Long Shadows Fall (1995), and the full-lengths All the Pretty Little Horses (1996) and The Starres Are Marching Sadly Home (1996). Like these albums, Of Ruine takes inspiration from English painter Louis Wain, to whom the record is dedicated to in the liner notes, along with Royalist composer William Lawes, writer H.R. Wakefield and painter Charles Sims.
Yet, despite the thematic similarities to the abovementioned albums, Of Ruine is of a much darker breed, at points so dismal it is almost unbearable (e.g. "I have seen this world as a great howl of pain...as the great disappointment...in which all our hopes flicker out..."). But, following the maelstorm of grief of the first half of the album, joy slowly returns like the initial rays of sunlight struggling through a thick, grey mist, as Tibet begins preaching with the passion of a prophet (e.g. "God is not dead for all of us!").
Musically, the songs are very minimalistic, with Michael Cashmore weaving intricate, and always breathaking, neoclassical guitar compositions, and Steven Stapleton providing drones and other sounds.
Overall, this is a very engaging (albeit extremelly emotionally demanding) album and one of Current 93's greatest releases.