Well, I really don't mean to downplay any of the recent releases from Swedish prog band Ritual, but this new reissue by InsideOut Music of their debut album is quite frankly a classic of early 1990's progressive rock. Those who hadn't heard this superior prog gem back when it was released now have all the more reason to pick this thoroughly enjoyable release up , fully remastered, with complete lyrics and loads of band photos.
The best way to descibe Ritual on this album is to take Yes, Jethro Tull, and Gentle Giant and throw them into a blender, then top off with some sprinkles of The Flower Kings, Anglagard, and Kaipa. Track after track, Ritual hits all the right proggy moves on this sparkling debut, with the complex Gentle Giant influenced "Wingspread", "The Way of Things" and "Typhoons Decide", to the more symphonic Yes influenced tunes "A Little More Like Me" and "Seasons for the Moominpappa." There's also lots of Tull type folk rock jigs, as on "Life Has Just Begun" and "Dependence Day." Many instruments are used, such as acoustic/electric guitars, mandolin, dulcimer, recorder, bass, tin-whistles, mallets, harp, mutliple keyboards, and various percussion. Singer/guitarist Patrik Lundstrom's name will be recognizable to many as the current singer of Kaipa, and his energetic vocals are one of the many highlights of this upbeat CD. The perfect amalgam of all their styles can be heard on the wondrous "Big Black Secret", a symphonic masterpiece that also includes some great heavy guitar riffs at the finale.
You'll find yourself clapping, dancing, and rocking to this fun and challenging CD. There's plenty of prog, folk, hard rock, and medieval sounds permeating this fine CD, making it a classic of 90's prog releases, and one that needs to find a home in every fan's collection.