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Anti Ritual: Anti Ritual

This is powerful stuff. Before I get to the music, though, I have to say a few things about the band's name. I have no idea what the band members mean by "Anti Ritual" but I like the way it seems to push against the constant repetition of ritual and ritual themes in metal music generally. These guys, unlike other metal bands, want to step away from self-reflection and turn up the heat on the world around us. Yes, other bands have done the same thing, but few have done it with such a convincing blend of the rage of hardcore, the griminess of sludge, and the harshness of black metal. As a critique of contemporary society, it isn't bad either. As their promotional materials state, this is music that is both "critical and deconstructing, but still the intent is NOT nihilistic and NOT degrading—the rage and frustration stems from love to life and the good in people and how this always seem[s] to be crushed by stupidity and greed." Put another way, this is music that celebrates life but rejects the way that most of us choose to live it. I can live with that.

It's nice to have a message, but what about the music? As I mentioned above, the songs here are a harsh mixture of hardcore, sludge, and black metal. The result is strong and sincere, a powerful use of what hardcore is really all about. The songs are short but pack a solid punch; the sound is consistent enough that things do begin to run together a bit by the end. Still, I was surprised by "A New Discourse on Enlightenment," a track that played around a bit more than the others. As an introduction to a new band, one that already has the chops of an experienced act, this is solid and impressive stuff.

Track Listing:
1. Ideals to the Fire
2. Slave Dogmatics
3. No Second Earth
4. The Highest Privilege
5. Blame the Victim
6. A New Discourse on Enlightenment

Added: May 1st 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Label Page
Hits: 909
Language: english

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