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Ritual – Enigma

by Issy Herring at 08 July 2022, 8:32 AM

RITUAL are a British alternative metal group, hailing from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. A year after their formation in mid-2017, RITUAL released two singles titled “Pariah Messiah” and “Rolling Thunder”. In 2019, they debuted another track “Petrified in Ash”, as well as their very first EP release “Operation Copacabana and the Punch Drunk Blues”. Fast forward to 2022, RITUAL promoted their second extended play with songs “Seven Gates” and “Pandemonium”, featuring on “Enigma”, which was released on May 6th, 2022, independently. The first track on the release is “As Above, So Below”, which is a fabulous introductory track to the EP. It really prepares you for what is to come in the short space of 1 minute 25 seconds.

“Seven Gates” is up next, featuring Dutch singer Dianne van Giersbergen of XANDRIA and EX LIBRIS fame. This song really mixes up genres such as nu-metal and symphonic metal, doing it extremely well in the process! I think it’s truly amazing how the song goes from sounding like LIMP BIZKIT one minute, to NIGHTWISH the next! I genuinely haven’t heard these styles merged before and I really enjoyed the result! Next up is “Murderous Operandi”, featuring Norwegian jazz and heavy metal musician Jørgen Munkeby. This was another interesting song, which is worth a listen! It sounds similar to THE CURE, but with a chunky metal riff thrown in for good measure. Franco Necro’s vocals even seem identical to ROBERT SMITH for most of the track. “Pandemonium” is a collaboration with Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen and jazz harpist Amanda Whiting. It takes us right back to the nu-metal type influences, with the rap style vocals really hitting the mark! As the track goes on, the background synths sound similar to DEPECHE MODE, whilst still managing the single their own with the hard-hitting metal guitar riffs being heard throughout.

“Walk of Shame” is the final track on the EP, which instantly grabs your attention with the Pink Panther sounding introduction. RITUAL was joined by DEVIN TOWNSEND for this project. You can hear his vocals in the midst of the production and his segment really helps to capture the essence of the album in just a few seconds. Additionally, previous collaborators Dianne van Giersbergen, Jørgen Munkeby and Amanda Whiting also featured on this track. It’s a great closing song to this fantastic EP, that’s for sure! RITUAL’s “Enigma” is by far one of the best metal releases of this year to date! They really try to change things up on every single track, making it as diverse as they possibly can. RITUAL are onto a winner here with this genre combination – it very much works in their favour! If you are a metal fan looking to try something a little different, I highly recommend starting off with this EP – absolutely phenomenal!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. As Above, So Below
2. Seven Gates (feat. Dianne van Giersbergen)
3. Murderous Operandi (feat. Jørgen Munkeby)
4. Pandemonium (feat. Anneke van Giersbergen and Amanda Whiting)
5. Walk of Shame (feat. Devin Townsend, Dianne van Giersbergen, Jørgen Munkeby and Amanda Whiting)
Franco Necro – Vocals
Mike Lewin – Guitar
James Marinos – Bass
Terry Knight – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 06 October 2022

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