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Ritual - s/t (7/10) - Sweden - 2003

Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: InsideOut
Playing time: 60:56
Band homepage: Ritual

Tracklist:

  1. Wingspread >mp3
  2. The Way Of Things >mp3
  3. Typhoons Decide >mp3
  4. A Little More Like Me >mp3
  5. Solitary Man >mp3
  6. Life Has Just Begun >mp3
  7. Dependence Day >mp3
  8. Seasoning For The Moominpappa >mp3
  9. You Can Never Tell >mp3
  10. Big Black Secret >mp3
  11. Power Place >mp3
Ritual - s/t
This is the band's 1995 debut CD remastered, offers a 24-page booklet and is offered domestically for the first time. I must say that this album was far superior than their third CD "Think Like A Mountain". This debut was much more colourful and easier to follow. Patrik (KAIPA) still sounds like James LaBrie, but is nowhere near as annoying and is quite enjoyable to listen to. "Wingspread" is a very complicated upbeat opener. Lots of harmonies surround this song along with fantastic drumming, 70's inspired keyboard antics along with peaceful atmospheres to add to the mix. The band was just as concerned in the beginning singing about the environment as they are now. This is not some new trend that they jumped on. They are the real deal and are very passionate about the world we live in.

"The Way Of Things" is a bit more folk sounding by adding flutes, mandolins and acoustic guitars. It sounds like they wrote this one in the forest late at night at a campfire. Even though these songs may be about the environment, don't expect to hear all acoustic numbers. These guys layer their music beautifully and it's simply a pure joy to listen to if you like varied arrangements that are unpredictable and peaceful. Don't expect any DREAM THEATER like antics here. They don't get out of control and get ultra technical with their instruments.

"Typhoon Decide" is a very exciting number that is heavy, melodic, complicated and acoustic all in one. Various instruments help make this a multi layered song something that could be heard over and over again because there is just so much going on that you will miss it the first time you listen. "A Little More Like Me" is very 70's oriented with the funky keyboards and odd psychedelic effects. Once again, you will be hooked in because it is just so original and compelling.

I don't know what happened between the debut and their third release, but this was absolutely entertaining to listen to. Folks that have an open mind toward music will find this a fresh breath of air and will be compelled to listen to this over and over again not only because it's that good, but because there is so much to hear and explore. First rate music played by fine musicians. Don't miss out! (Online January 9, 2004)

Joe Florez



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