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Ritual - Glimpses from the Story of Mr Bogd Award winner

Ritual
Glimpses from the Story of Mr Bogd
by Barbra Rose at 08 January 2021, 6:27 AM

On November 13 2020, Sweden’s RITUAL released "Glimpses from the Story of Mr Bogd," and   on November 27, 2020 - released a CD version. "Glimpses from the Story of Mr Bogd" would be the first release from RITUAL since the year two thousand seven release of E.P. "The Hemulic Voluntary Band."  Prior releases were a year two thousand six release entitled "Live;" a two thousand three release of "Think Like a Mountain" year nineteen ninety-nines "Superb Birth" and RITUAL’s self titled nineteen ninety-five maiden release entitled RITUAL. They would accurately classify as a melodic, even folk inspired, singable, progressive rock band with similarities to two famous progressive rock predecessors EMERSON LAKE & PALMER & YES.

"Chichikov Bogd"- the initial E.P. track begins with vocal pick up notes and acoustic guitar - as Patrik Lundström begins to tell his conceptual tale.  The listener also hears influence from BLUE OYSTER CULT - especially by the sound & mix of Patrik Lundström’s electric guitar.   Fredrik Lindqvist’s bass bears a soft but strong harmonic & rhythmic presence. Rather than a guitar solo, the band enters into a more progressive even fusion style of rock. After the subsequent verse, the song modulates to dominant and Fredrik Lindqvist & Johan Nordgren tastefully augment their style.   This music is extremely pleasant & melodic. If one song might receive top forty radio play - it is Chichikov Bogd - perhaps by the importance of the melody & verse / chorus structure so prevalent in rock.  Especially in the chorus it is easy to sing along with this song.  The song ends with Patrik Lundström singing the phrase “…and now we should all return to the narrative at hand / to the deviating man and the open road”.

Mr Tilly and His Gang - the second E.P. track begins with a nod to rock/jazz/fusion style with pleasant but not unrhythmic melodic dissonance–one that is almost reminiscent of GHOST’s recreation of hell’s pandemonium in Secular Haze.  The instrumentation utilized is percussion & Harmonium (an instrument used three hundred years prior) and keyboard. Vocals begin “There was a din / music and song / a curious carriage came driving alongGreeting my friends / Good Day to you / I’m Mr Tilly & this is my crew…”  There are even notions of THE BEATLES’ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - played in a melodic folk hybrid of the two songs;  in lieu of a guitar solo, and for a short break from lyrical verses - the band again reverts to a melodic cacophony of melodic rockish fusion. Although I reference strong influences of GHOST’s Secular Haze & THE BEATLES famous album title track, however prevalent, the song is original - and definitely a relevant addition to the modern tradition of Rock Opera–and is worthy of a listener’s thorough attention.

Three Heads Of The Well - the third E.P. track opens with a heavy, percussive strumming of the acoustic guitar.  Patrik Lundström sings folk style “Something was stirring in the dark fountain /  Three pairs of eyes & three palid faces / three female heads came up through the water / one after one they broke through the surface”.  Patrik Lundström adds a “pleasant dissonance of mystique” with that of a chromatic escape tone before singing each suggestive phrase. As the song progresses, Jon Gamble and other band members sing consequent melodic phrases in lieu of Patrik Lundström’s former “pleasant dissonances of mystique”. The song progresses with innovative acoustic guitar playing - with subtle bending - almost reminiscent to the Indian sitar.

The Mice - the final E.P. track opens with Patrik Lundström and background vocals singing “Nobody Cares for a Mouse / Making a life in the wild…”. Background vocals are partially featured in this song–and to reach its melodic head theme, the guitar & bass double for a pleasant melodic phrase that begins in the bass voice and ascends a melodic phrase that scales into the soprano register of the song; subsequent repetitions of the melodic ascension are played by the keyboard and bass.  At about two minutes fifteen seconds the song, Patrik Lundström plays the first notion of scratched electric rhythm guitar.  The song never ventures too far into harder forms rock - but, this moment, as with the second track, Mr Tilly and His Gang, may be the moments when this progressive folk music seems to have a harder edge.  As the song plays along, the bass bears extensive importance with melodic content.   Violin enters first with additional acoustic guitars–that introduce keyboard harmonizations as the E.P ends.

The lyrical themes seem adaptations from the fictional world of novels - and the folk-music basis of the music reminisces to the nineteen seventies–and may almost classify as rock opera.   I wish Ritual the best of luck with this and further releases.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Chichikov Bogd
2. Mr Chilly and His Gang
3. Three Heads Of The Well
4. The Mice
Lineup:
Patrik Lundström - Vocals & Guitars
Jon Gamble - Keyboards Harmonium Harmonic, Vocals
Fredrik Lindqvist - Bass, Bouzouki, Mandolin, Flutes
Johan Nordgren - Drums & Percussion 
Record Label: Tempus Fugit Records
     


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