One day short of a calendar year after their debut EP “Awake” dropped, Newcastle’s Rituals return with a sophomore record in “Show Me The Signs” which takes the heavier sound that the band showcased following their initial trio of singles in “P.O.V“, “Snakes Head” and “False Royal“ and runs with it. Having received widespread praise from the some of the more prominent media outlets including Kerrang! Radio and Metal Hammer Magazine for that debut record, the band made the most of the opening doors, enjoying support slots with Raga Metal Kings Skindred and Northern Deathcore brutes Osiah as they brought Metal to the masses…
…its safe to say that at least from the outside the pressure is on as in order to maintain their ascent Rituals need to make “Show Me The Signs” count, however they do so with consummate ease, creating their finest work to date as they continue the momentum seemingly as if it was nothing. Musical maturity and song writing ability go hand in hand here with both growing steadily alongside the bands confidence as they are no longer afraid to take risk, refusing to go style over substance. The title track has the kind of anthemic qualities that you want from a major festival band with rich melodies and melancholic leanings that touch on buried Post-Hardcore influences proving there is more to them than meets the eye. “Oceans Subside” then dials in the heavier sound that we heard on “Awake” with a KoRn esq lead moment adding a haunting quality as the band introduce chugging riffs and brutal unclean verses counterpointed by a majestic clean chorus in the turbulent groove. It’s a cut that has an air of familiarity about it as well as sing-a-long ability meaning that you can’t help but want to crack a smile and nod your head to it. The powerhouse that is “In Devastation” then brings the curtain down with the kind of Groove Metal monster that if heard in isolation from the title track might make you question if it was the same band, in the best possible way. The hairs raise on the back of the neck as this one flies out of the traps like a greyhound chasing the rabbit at the dog track, the drum sound being absolutely scorching. Unlike that debut EP these aren’t necessarily a trio of cuts that are designed to flow together, instead this sounds like more of a showcase of what this band are capable of with each cut having its own unique energy but as three singles put together it’s impossible to fault [8/10]
Show Me The Signs
“Show Me The Signs” by Rituals is out 2nd September 2022.