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The Rite – Liturgy Of The Black

The Rite
Liturgy Of The Black
by Aurora Kuczek at 23 June 2020, 5:00 PM

Recycling old ideas to form into new thoughts and combinations, THE RITE proves that this can be done well through their musically skilled journey. The Denmark black metal band formed in 2017, with their latest release, “Liturgy Of The Black” being their first full-length album since their EP. The album, while exceptionally produced and sounds are honed, lacks a sense of their own voice. This is a tricky feat and equally risky. Instead of finding this, the piece creates a strangely constructed quilt of many different colors and textures held together by torn thread. They resemble pioneer bands like SLAYER, CELTIC FROST, and DARKTHRONE. Although their album is well-developed and memorable, it leaves out the thoughts of the creators of the band by only including the ideas that had already been produced years ago.

The Initiation” is an instrumental beginning to the album. Bells chime and wind blows solemnly throughout the noise. The synths are quite eerie and creates an ancestral or ritual-like mood. “The Black Effigy” begins with a CELTIC FROST-like beat. Guitars move along with the drums. The voice screams through the open notes. The rhythm is memorable, rooted in low tunes and familiar melodies. Guitars move through, climbing and falling down an endless hill. A breakdown changes the melody, and incorporating SLAYER-like ideas this time. Drums remain casual, and riffs remain malleable. High-pitched synths move over similar low noted guitars. The tune returns to a slower melody, before forming into another breakdown where the drums are the organ of the track. Chorus-like synths appear, and the ending is chaotic.

Children Of The Belial” flows up and down in scale with a thumping sound. Drums and guitars are added into the scenery, but the listeners are a bit unclear of what they are seeing. There is a change in pace and style, and the rhythm becomes quite catchy. Guitars offset the double kick and the screaming voice. The breakdown harmonizes with the guitar notes making it sound almost SLAYER-like once more. The track evolves slower and there are low bass notes. There is another breakdown with a shift in melody. With the drums being more punk-like, and the song ends in static. “Necromancy” starts atmospheric with wind moving through trees. Guitars singularly start before layers are included. It is creepily produced, with CELTIC FROST sounding guitar parts. The song transverses between faster and slower paces. The key shifts with a breakdown. Guitars silence the drums. There is static and cymbals, with high pitched guitars. The bass remains in the forefront for a moment. There is a whisper, and synths underlie the notes. A slight riff occurs in the harmonization, with punk-like guitars. The song ends with another shift and the voice follows.

Famadihana” also begins like SLAYER with their high pitched harmonics. But suddenly, one is thrown into DARKTHRONE, and the feeling is disorienting. Guitars move up and down, and there is a slight whisper lingering in their words. Static bleeds like a hurricane, with blast beats from the drums. Riffs circle and spiral throughout the song. I begin to realize here that THE RITE, although well formed in their musical skills and production, have created an awkward relationship between old school versus black metal. It seems unoriginal, and I wonder if this was their intention. “The Bornless One” is very similar to the last track, but with lower notes and exists as more chaotic. A voice screams through the song. Guitars move at a pace that is elegantly soft, and the key changes. It creates a majestic statement. Drums change abruptly, and the guitars move with this new beat, but they are not very complicated schemes. Their melody changes again, but it does not make sense with the previous line. It then ends in a static ambiance. “Echoes Of Past Lives” begins with a loud noise, before other instrumentals are interwoven. Like stated before, it remains to be unoriginal, and allows me to long for something reformed and rethought. I also wonder how simplistic and stereotypical their words are, and wish that this was made more unique. The piece gets faster with every second, and the guitars are low. Drums are hidden. A synth is added, and it fades into the complexity as well. Similar to the previous tracks, the melody shifts in ideas, before abruptly shifting back to normalcy. For a lengthy song, it does not go much of anywhere. The end of the song is quite spaciously oriented, but it leaves out much time for thought.

Sinister Minister” introduces the track with a harsh scream. Turning towards a more modern black metal style, the gear shifts, and the listeners are taken to yet another different realm of imagination. Guitars and drumbeats move cyclically. There are high pitched synths, similar to the rest of the album. In the breakdown, there is a highly fueled riff; its energetically swarming and intoxicating. There are strange atmospheric synths that do not fit as the melody changes once again. The music feels quite dishonest, and the patchwork continues. “Trespassing The Chapel” begins with the similar feels of the electric guitar in early BURZUM format. Voices groan and change with the oncoming melody. It is powered by the beat of the drums. However interesting, it is not the most amusing or unique. The riffs continue and, without any changes, “South Of Heaven” ideas somehow morph into MAYHEM tunes. It is fascinating how much these sounds are a reminder of pioneers, but I worry that this does not work to their benefit. “Past Lives” ends the album the same way they started. Wind and rain are heard through whispers. Chanting occurs through the falling rain with creepy synths. There is a strange recording of something vintage, and it makes me full of unease, which is not something I felt with the earlier tracks. Although interesting and finally original, I am trying to find a place in this album for these unsettling sounds to righteously fit in, but this does not exist.

THE RITE’s “Liturgy Of The Black” is an album that is well produced and well-practiced. Structurally and technically, the band has made few errors. The release has proved to be a strange patchwork of pioneer bands that have shaped the genre of black metal. Throughout each song, one can hear the familiar sounds of these early bands meshed together by interesting knots and string. Although this is done fairly well, “Liturgy Of The Black” does not express the band’s original ideas – assuming they have had other thoughts – and, more so, ideas that have not already been produced. While this does not impose a problem for those who enjoy these sounds, it is an issue when discussing the newness of a creation.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Initiation
2. The Black Effigy
3. Children of Belial
4. Necromancy
5. Famadihana
6. The Bornless One
7. Echoes of Past Lives
8. Sinister Minister
9. Trespassing the Chapel
10. Last Rites
Lineup:
Ustumallagam – Vocals
A.th – Bass
Gabriel – Guitar
Priest G – Drums
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
     


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Edited 17 October 2021
 

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