RITUAL - The Resurrection CD
Funeral Rain Records
Genre: Blackened Doom?
For all of you reading this and thinking "RITUAL has a new record out", please note that it might not be who you are thinking about. In all honesty I didn't know who this actually was until the music kicked in and it sure as hell wasn't the death metal band I was thinking about. This RITUAL is Ian Ritual (or is it Ian Flemming?) who achieved a cult like status amongst USBM stalwarts back in the mid-90s after putting out three releases and then just stopped after 1998. For any interested parties, if you can't find those three releases from years ago (aka: 1995's The Summoning, Demonic Winter Metal from 1997, and his last from 1998 Soldiers Under Satan’s Command) there's also a compilation CD floating around with his earlier demo recordings called Chapter 666. I've heard it once but it did leave an indelible memory upon me. Unless you are a diehard collector than novices to underground black metal need not apply.
Which brings us up to date and this latest release which is the first in over a decade for Ian Ritual. Basically this is a one man BM act as Ian is responsible for the instruments (guitar, bass and drums) as well as the vocals. Other than the previously mentioned demo material I cannot say I'm that familiar with his previous studio full length recordings from years ago. Therefore if you're expecting to read "it's a great follow-up to his last opus" then you're going to be sadly disappointed. As far as I can fathom this is a one man parade of melodic black metal peppered with moody ambiance as well as doom aesthetics. The first thing I noticed is how clean sounding this is. You would figure someone from ages ago would at least leave things rough around the edges. There are also parts of this that come off like mainstream friendly blackened rock like "Blinded by Hatred". The title cut for example reminds me a little of modern day SATYRICON (minus the production excess) as well as a few others. Welcome to the new decade Mr. Ritual.
After multiple listens with blood emanating from my ear drums to prove it I see The Resurrection more as a doom release with harsh shrieking vocals that traditional black metal. Although I believe everything on here comes straight from this man's gut (he has no heart for it to be heart felt) and there are some cuts worthy of modern attention grabbing greatness. "Executioner of the Elder Gods" contains some speed that relaxed my coffee intake for a few minutes as well as "Temple of Baphomet's Sons". Maybe if I listen to this fifteen more times I'll become a zombie with these sounds echoing within my rotted skull replacing the previous grey matter.