Review: “Awake” by Rituals

Forming in 2019, Newcastle quartet Rituals honed their skills and developed their sound in 2020 dropping a trio of successful stand alone singles in “P.O.V“, “Snakes Head” and “False Royal“, each one of which showed a consistent growth while promising that their debut EP is simply the start with a wealth of material said to be just waiting for the right moment. Whether it is considered a concept release or otherwise, there is a theme that runs throughout the record about developing a sense of self-worth, opening your eyes and seeing false realities, looking in the mirror and remoulding the person you are into the one you want to become. Powerful stuff.

Sonically “Awake” marks Rituals heaviest material to date in the growing genre that some people are calling “Modern Metal” and most will simply refer to as “Metal“, defying convention. The opening cut and title track is razor sharp, benefiting from an incredible mixing and mastering job that has left the band with a crisp, clean and huge drum sound while little moments of orchestration lift it from an all out chug of war fest. Some vocal change ups in “Turn Away From The Sun” give it something fresh with bold cleans backed off by suitably urgent screams which make it an ideal candidate for a lighter waving sing-a-long during a festival while maintaining the necessary degree of heaviness to keep the flow of the EP roaring like a flamable rugĀ  in front of an open fire. There are some Post-Hardcore melodies buried within the fist pumping Metal heart of “Blinding To Me” which shine with the dull ache of the morning sun the night after a breakup. The band seem shy of a guitar solo instead putting in a melodic passage to break up the flow a little bit but the collosal finale that is “Carved Out” is a jaw dropper. Another step heavier, it brings the fire of Phinehas to the technical rhythmic gymnastics and is a call to the circle pit with haunting lead parts adding flare to the final notes. Rituals are a rising force that you need to keep an eye on because with “Awake”, they’ve come out swinging [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Awake
  2. Turn Away From The Sun
  3. Blinding To Me
  4. Carved Out

Awake” by Rituals is out 3rd September 2021

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