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Ritual: Live

I was only slightly familiar with Sweden's Ritual before the new live release arrived. I loved, and sometimes really disliked, Patrik Lundstrom's vocals with Kaipa. His vocals here, are just as hit and miss. Live is a solid release, that mixes long jams, with concise symphonic-rock. The power of the band is keyboardist Jon Gamble, but all musicians stand out here. For a live setting, the sound is fantastic. Recorded during their 2004 tour, it has most of the favorite tracks from their studio albums. Songs like "Once The Tree Would Bloom" expand on their studio ideas and make Live worthwhile.

After an excellent 1-2 starting punch of "What Are You Waiting For" and "Typhoons Decide", it is "Really Something" that brings to the forefront why Ritual hasn't made a huge name for themselves. Lundstrom's vocals can sound so forced and out of sync with the music that it drains all the energy from the song. The screams on "Did I Go Wrong" can be forgiven, but the wailing on "Do You Want To See The Sun" can not be. In other cases, offerings like "Explosive Paste" just show an immature songwriting that takes fantastic down quickly to ordinary. And then "Big Black Secret" comes along and shows a maturity comparable to their country-mates The Flower Kings.

This is a frustrating CD to review, because it is over 100 minutes of music, most of which I enjoy, with just enough clunkers to keep it from being excellent. If you are a Ritual fan, then this is a must, since it shows many of their songs in a different light. Fans of Kaipa will also like this CD, and those that can look past a vocalist trying way too hard to one of the better jam bands in progressive music, also will get their moneys worth.

Track Listing
1. Vision Quest
2. What Are You Waiting For
3. Typhoons Decide
4. Really Something
5. Moomin Took My Head
6. Infinite Justice
7. Humble Decision
8. Once The Tree Would Bloom
9. Did I Go Wrong
10. Think Like A Mountain
11. Solitary Man

1. Dinosaur Spaceship
2. Explosive Paste
3. Acoustic Medley
4. Mother You've Been Gone For Much Too Long
5. Do You Wanna See The Sun
6. Big Black Secret
7. Season For The Moomin Pappa

Added: March 19th 2006
Reviewer: Steve Ambrosius
Related Link: Inside Out Music
Hits: 2348
Language: english

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