"The Resurrection"

By Dr. Abner Mality

You sure don't hear black metal like this very much anymore. I gather The Ritual were active in the late 90's but have been dormant for many years...hence, "The Resurrection". I don't know them from beans, but I do know there is something about this gloomy, simple and spare music I can relate to.

It is possible to criticize these guys as being monotonous and unambitious and the picky side of me agrees. Their music is VERY simple, based on mid-tempo riffs and melancholy, extremely spare guitar soloing...this is as far from grandiose or complex BM as you can get, but it is definitely not raw, flesh-ripping necro stuff either. The melody is always present, but it is very cold, tragic and hateful. The vocals, as well, are very hateful and despairing, yet monotonous. The monotony actually works in The Ritual's favor and it has to be said that the vocals are clear and easily understandable. Few of the tunes here exceed four minutes and only the final ambient funeral dirge, based on a simple synthesizer motif, really breaks the formula.

Despite the deficiencies, I find tracks like "Winter of My Discontent", "Drowning Into the Sea" and "A Perfect Moonlit Night" to be entrancing in their way, almost like a stripped down Nachtmystium. Everything about this record, from the music to the vocals to the cover art and album title, is sliced to the bone. A peculiar example of freezing melodic venom...