Unleashing a tsunami of spiteful ferocity and voracious defiance within its tempestuous sounds, the self-titled debut EP from Danish hardcore/metallers Anti Ritual is an inescapable provocation which leaves senses bruised and battered but seriously alive. A joint release between Indisciplinarian and Vendetta Records, the six track sonic scourge is a challenging and testing encounter but one which abrases and gets right under the skin.
Brewing up a maelstrom of passion and malevolence from a mix of hardcore and extreme metal, the Copenhagen quartet use their musical platform to rail against the political and social evils which enslave the thoughts and lives of the people. It is forcibly aggressive, emotionally tearing at the diverse structures and wrongs ravaging man but also embracing the good in humanity and promoting constructive defiance. Musically their sound is imposing addiction, scorching grooves and rhythmic hostility a rampant contagion which openly reveals the craft and strength of the songwriting and band. Self-produced by the band and mixed by Jakob Reichert Nielsen (Rising, Lack) with mastering from Brad Boatright (Nails, Sleep, From Ashes Rise), the EP is a severe and uncompromising indictment, and exhaustingly compelling.
Ideals to the Fire begins the vitriolic erosion of ears and senses, its opening temptation of drums soon raging within a storm of scathing riffs and carnivorous basslines which in turn coax the rhythms to become rabid and unpredictable. It is a savage attack driven harder by the caustic growls of vocalist Marco Malcorps whilst all the while a virulent groove casts its toxicity, constantly brewing up its intensity and bait across the brief and thrilling scourge. It is a blistering and formidable incitement, one stirring things up mentally and emotionally as it sparks unbridled enthusiasm.
The potent start is driven deeper into the psyche and passions with Slave Dogmatics, the track taking a mere second to worm under the skin as sonic scars are left by guitarist Jacob Krogholt under the rain of intensive rhythms from drummer Nikolaj Borg. Again grooves scythe with rabidity across the annihilatory onslaught giving it a swing and swagger which like the lyrical narrative, sculpts an enticing almost anthemic persuasion. The track is simply irresistible, showing that barbarous examinations can be just as thrilling and epidemically contagious as any smouldering seduction, that something you are not likely to experience from Anti Ritual we can safely assume.
The following No Second Earth grips the same wave of fury as its predecessor, twisting it into its own abrasing sonic predator. Framed and speared by the corrosive rhythms and heavily rapacious bass growls of K.B. Larsen, the track takes a more deliberately paced tempest to the senses, capturing the imagination with bestial and continually lumbering riffery. It shows a variety to release and sound, even if in more subtle than openly loud ways, which is continued with The Highest Privilege, its doom breathing, blackened squall a continually changing journey of destructive rampancy and sinister predation which ebbs and flows whilst permeating the roots of instinctive passion.
The closing pair of Blame the Victim and A New Discourse on Enlightenment ensure the release leaves as nastily as it entered, the first a pestilential cyclone of sound and vitriol flailing flesh as it man handles thoughts whilst its successor brings the richest layer of crust to the release yet whilst potently employing an intimidating chug of sludge/thrash riffs. It is the most intensive and dangerous slab of aural brutality on the EP, an unrelenting and rigorously compelling torrent of passion and raw antagonistic sculpting; a quite immense conclusion to an outstanding release.
Anti Ritual band and EP are not for fair weather hardcore and extreme metal fans but for those of a masochistic and defiance driven appetite. It is a thoroughly impressive debut from a band you can sense is going to leave major landmarks across their upcoming horizons.
The Anti Ritual EP is available now from Vendetta Records and Indisciplinarian on 12” black vinyl limited to 350 copies, white vinyl limited to 150 copies, and digitally.
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