With a breath that withers and a sound that explodes like a coiled spring of creative tension, the Awake EP is the new offering from UK metallers Rituals; a tempestuous roar of voracious metal from a band that is increasingly demanding attention.
Emerging in 2018, it is in the past 12 months or so that the Newcastle based quartet has forged a real escalation in reputation in alignment with a honing and growth of imagination in their songwriting and music. The Awake EP is the potent result of this new thrust in their creativity, a cauldron of metalcore seeded challenge which quickly reveals its strength of imagination and winds of diversity. A trio of singles in 2020 in the shape of P.O.V, Snakes Head and False Royal more than hinted at this new evolution, a heightening of adventure now is in full force and invention within their new outing.
The EP erupts with its title track and new single, Awake instantly a surge of rhythmic trespass and sonic corrosion. Even so there is an immediate gripping of ears, an underlying contagiousness that keenly simmers even as causticity loaded vocals and venomous grooves entwine the senses. Barbarous yet as intensively alluring, the song continues to creatively twist its body, a merging of metal flavours as dervish like before a relative calm surrounds a cleaner urge of vocals. It is a track though which never relents in its compelling antipathy and ferocity, only adding new aspects and layers to its imaginative confrontation.
It is a truly striking start to the release and probably its finest moment though the following Turn Away From The Sun is no lightweight in taking ears and casting them into a web of steely endeavour and fiery intensity. Again guitars spin threads of antagonism into a weave of appetite feeding grooves, a mix of irritability and enthralment echoed in the menacingly swung rhythms of the drums and the predacious breath of the bass. The song is as equally superb as its predecessor and as resourceful in surprise and unpredictability with once more the mix of vocal attack and intensity compelling.
Blinding To Me strides in with muscular intent but soon bears its melodic soul and sonic enterprise, its presence relatively calm and measured compared to its earlier companions but also barely hiding tempestuousness that breaks in full force from time to time. A predatory intent only adds to its drama and menace as once more raw emotion fills the vein of a Rituals song.
The EP’s final track, Carved Out is an instant avalanche of riffs and rhythmic incitement bound in grooved lines of temptation. Forcibly infectious and melodically bold without defusing its tempestuous holler and bordering on violent incursion, the song casts a physical and emotional turbulence we found very easy to want more of, evidence in the constant press of the play button since first being introduced to the Awake EP.
Rituals are beginning to leave a thick richly promising mark on the UK metal scene with their new proposition their most impressive and fiercely enjoyable yet.
The Awake EP is out now.
Pete RingMaster 13/09/2021
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