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Misanthropic Rituals – A Path Through Absent Places

Misanthropic Rituals
A Path Through Absent Places
by Aurora Kuczek at 14 July 2020, 10:43 AM

Hailing from New Jersey in the United States comes forth the black metal creation, MISANTHROPIC RITUALS. The project formed in 2012 and has released two full-length albums since then, with their most recent entitled “A Path Through Absent Places,” which came about May of this year. Though the project may describe themselves as black metal, the genre of the album could be portrayed as fluid mix of multiple sounds. They focus much of their work on melodies and elegance of their music thus creating sounds that were more symphonic or melodic. The project is unique in this way, though it is underdeveloped in some areas as transitions were poor and instrumentation was not blended thoroughly. Nevertheless, “A Path Through Absent Places” is a fascinating tale that should not be forgotten.

The Violation Paradise” begins the hymn in a low noted phrase exhibited by the guitar. The notes move according to the beats and flow naturally. The bass is heard underneath this, and the sounds are very much contained. There is a shift in the sounds, and the guitar becomes like a drum. The voice morphs into the song, sounding as Johan Hegg’s style. Blast beats occur and the sounds are majestic, yet energetic. There are abrupt stops and starts, and the smoothness is lost. The drums double kick throughout the song. The track focuses around one idea, but it never appropriately addresses the specificities, and instead uses other notes that do not fit quite well. The voice changes quite often to a higher pitched scream, and towards the end, a harsher growl.

Dweller In Nocturnes” is folksier with a higher pitched guitar followed by another guitar that outline parts of this melody. There is a breakdown and an elegant keen piano comes forth whispering kind words through the song. A celestial synth flows with this. The beginning part of the song returns, and the voice is layered over this. The two of these ideas seemingly combine into one with changes in the thoughts surrounding this. As the track continues, the guitars tremolo pick in a scratchy fashion before going back towards the combination section. It is somber yet graceful. The voice is seen alone with a simple piano and louder synths. This breakdown ends with the introduction of drums and fast paced guitars which gain some more personality until the end of the track. “Beset With Shroud Of Pitch” is introduced with echoed and calm synths that float around the scenery. Without haste, guitars come forth and remain steady around these elements. The voice emerges in its similar fashion and is fore-fronted among this. It is a track based for a lullaby. As the guitars tremolo pick, a chorus of high pitched voices startle the ears as the synth continues its placidness. This forwards without much differentiation until the ending part of the song where the pitch is slightly lower at some portions, and the melody is reformulated as the drums pound.

At The Gyre of Holocaust” features a singular guitar that echoes as it speaks. It has a slight melody and the sounds are difficult to distinguish. A drum beats through this, and the guitars shift drastically into a chaotic atmosphere where they tremolo pick high pitched riffs. The voice is much irater, and the tune is faster paced than the previous tracks. Guitars have more freedom in this piece to evolve, and drums move with this havoc at a quickened pace. In “An Absent Place,” a synth bell chimes and echoes. Synths grow in a lullabied fashion and are quite gothic. A darkened pit of emptiness is portrayed on bleakness. A slight tune of the guitar carries one through with a muted gong-like synth that keeps the rhythm. A synth chorus of stillness parades through, and this ambience endures the majority of the song. This beautiful melody allows one to settle into a tranquil state. An abrupt shift from the previous track, and almost black metal like, “The Mountain My Cairn” starts with double kicking and a simplistic and high pitched melody of the guitar. Cymbals crash and the drums overpower parts of the track. The guitars are clean despite their intensity, and the voice is similarly incandescent as before. The track breaks down and the guitars move with a lower power than before. Though this track was similar to much of the genre, it was not as diverse and enticing for a final song as I would have liked.

MISANTHROPIC RITUALS’ “A Path Through Absent Places,” is a diverse formulation of engaging and magnificent melodies of the piano and synths that combine with harsher sounds of the guitar which accompany this. Though intriguing, it was quite difficult to classify the project as they did not grasp one specific style of music. This makes it hard for the listeners to find or come to terms with the project. Though underdeveloped in some areas, their ideas remain keen throughout the piece.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Violation Paradise
2. Dweller In Nocturnes
3. Beset With Shroud of Pitch
4. At the Gyre Of Holocaust
5. An Absent Place
6. The Mountain My Cairn
Andrew Bono – All instruments
YMIR – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 07 February 2023

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