|The Ritual - Beyond The Fragile Horizon
14 November 2011
01. Beyond The Fragile Horizon
02. Show Me What You Can Do
03. Jason On The River
04. Hysteria & Madness
05. Shoot Me
08. The Liar
09. Nothing Is The Same (Sacrifice)
You know what the great thing is about metal? It's so vast, you can find your own little corner where you can find a couple hundred bands to play directly to your niche. Then there's those bands that defy your opinions, but somehow manage to just click. Here is The Ritual. They're poppy, catchy, a bit on the flowery side, but man do they still rock.
Not entirely flowery, there is a ton of riffs here that conflict with leads and chorus' that came only a few seconds earlier. How so? Well, one moment you'll have yourself a destructive thrash riff, mean and nasty. Then, the whole thing will drop into a soaring power metal segment. No, they don't pull that thing where they tone everything down to make way for a chorus. The whole thing manages to maintain a certain kind of structural integrity despite the conflicting sounds. If you've been on the fence about euro-flower-power metal, liking the melodies, but hating the softness of it, then The Ritual might just be what you're looking for.
They do occasionally do that thing where they suddenly slam on the brakes for the sake of a little vocal spotlight time, as if the singer stepped forward and said "Ok lads, back off for a second, it's time for me to sing like a pussy." Usually, when you here this problem once in an album, you're bound to hear it at least 4 times per song. Luckily, The Ritual kept it to a bare minimum. Bless them, they actually know how to use those segments tastefully.
Beyond The Fragile Horizon is actually a wonderful balancing act. The aggressive riffs are actually aggressive, not just aggressive by power metal standards, while the melodic leads soar like they should. A fine job these guys have done.
Written on 14.01.2012 by
Former EIC, now semi-retired.