Ritual - _The Resurrection_
(Funeral Rain Records, 2011)
by: Aaron McKay (7.5 out of 10)
As a word to the wise, this album can grow on you. Not like a tumor, but more of a cultured taste for French cuisine. Okay, that's overstating it somewhat, but more like reaching for an Amstel or Stella Artois rather than, say, a Budweiser.

Evident here are subtle undercurrents of Ulver and, at times, a purposefully played, clear sounding Darkthrone with maybe some Burzum elements and a hint of Judas Iscariot.

The black metal outfit known as Ritual has experienced a bit of a turbulent past to arrive at this point. In its infancy, the band first appeared on the scene in 1993, releasing _The Summoning_ in 1995, _Demonic Winter Metal_ two years later and _Soldiers Under Satan's Command_ in 1998 as more than simply a solo effort. Fast forward to 2011, Ritual is now a one man project from California spearheaded by Ian Fleming who, this time around, is offering up _The Resurrection_.

Acknowledging the prerequisite amount of banal Satanic cheese, Ritual still delivers an unyielding slab of palpable black metal with _The Resurrection_. While the term "inspired" would be an ill-advised description of this release, infectiously auspicious might be a phrase better suited to _The Resurrection_.

Clocking in at nearly forty minutes, two of the eleven tracks are instrumental -- the obsessing intro, "A Funeral for My Heart" and the heavy, beat-driven outro "March of the Damned". The title track, as well as "Drowning Into the Sea" and "Blinded By Hatred" provide some concrete examples of Ritual's captivating, yet objectified vision found on _The Resurrection_. Albeit, at times, repetitive on choice songs, the clear, purposeful delivery on this release might provide the potentially casual listener reason to give _The Resurrection_ another spin.

Independent in its approach, Ritual exemplifies qualities for those not necessarily hell-bent in feral black metal innovation or raw abyss-driven material; rather Ritual's edginess derives from more of a darkened translucency. Far from innovative, "The Resurrection" runs the risk of potentially being dismissed off-hand through individual naiveté. Ever order a domestic beer at a micro-brewery? Something like that. While forgoing the escargot, would someone please pass a pint of the Warsteiner? Cheers!inspired

Contact: http://www.funeralrainrecords.com/

(article published 15/1/2012)

3/14/1996 A Bromley 7 Ritual - Hate
10/11/1996 A Wasylyk 3 Ritual - Ritual
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