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Florian Grey - Ritus Award winner

Florian Grey
by Dave Nowels at 29 June 2018, 1:40 PM

This is a hard album to wrap my head around. I’m not quite sure if I absolutely love it, or just the bizarre uniqueness, and overall cockiness of the force behind it intrigues me so much. Florian Grey (the individual) is a baritone vocalist (this is clearly stressed repeatedly in anything related to him) and songwriter from Berlin, Germany.  Initially a solo recording artist, it is now Florian Grey an educated baritone vocalist followed by his band, FLORIAN GREY. Follow me so far? Regardless, “Ritus” is his second album released and is self described as, “a Dark Rock epos, combining Symphonic, Rock, Alternative, Pop, Metal, 80’s synth pop, and Dark Rock”. For the sake of this review, let’s just stick with Alternative Rock.

Lyrically, the album addresses the substances of human emotions, addressing love, hope, pain and anger. Musically, “Ritus is superb. The band plays exceptionally well and the production work carried out by Hilton Theissen is textbook.  The songs are well written, lyrically strong and quite enjoyable. The album has a good flow start to finish, and sticks with you once complete. The uniqueness of it all is its ability to change and morph with every track. “Bluecifer” opens the album as a formative Rocker that wastes little time reaching its chorus and hook. “Until We Go Down” begins with a nice acoustic intro before establishing itself as a nice mid pace AOR song.  In fact, most of the album’s songs seem to be heavily influenced by album-oriented Rock radio. For example, “Glimmer” sounds like it would be right at home in the midst of a U2 marathon. It’s funny, because in its beginning, the song “My Babylon” doesn’t really grab my attention, yet by the song’s end, I’m singing along and nodding my head to the beat. It’s probably my favorite track overall, though I really enjoyed the majority of the album. “Relief” has probably the heaviest feel of all the songs and features guest vocals from HELL BOULEVARD’S Matteo VDiva Fabiani.

The only consistent complaint I can voice is lyrically there is too much repetitiveness. “A Cold Days Night” repeats the title again and again, throughout the run of the song. Almost to the point that there seems to be no other lyrics as important.  “Catharsis” has a similar critique, though it’s not as blatant. Otherwise they’re great songs. All of them are really good, well composed songs. This isn’t an album I would normally listen to much, but as I said previously, its uniqueness just seems to grab a hold of you, and the catchiness of its musical and lyrical hooks refuse to let you go.

Songwriting:    8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Bluecifer
2. Until We Go Down
3. Bereft
4. My Babylon
5. Growing Colder
6. Glimmer (Save Me)
7. Relief (feat VDiva)
8. Paraphrase (instrumental)
9. The Unknown Pleasure
10. A Cold Days Nights
11. Blood In a Shell
12.Catharsis (Closing Ceremony)
Florian Grey - Baritone
Von Marengo – Guitar
Simon Zlotos – Keyboard and Bass
Yannik “Rage” Bockelman - Drums
Record Label: Fastball Music


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