EP Review- A Ritual Spirit- Elements I

Artwork by Sam Hayles
Scotland's Alt Metal Act A Ritual Spirit has released Elements I, the first of a two-part album, via their own record label, Disposable Noise. Produced by Bryan Ramage at Ramage Productions, this is the band's third release. The six tracks run just over 27 minutes and focus on the isolation and anxieties of the pandemic.

Formed in 2013, the quartet has formed an ardent fan base throughout the UK, supporting acts like Warrior Soul, and performing at Bloodstock Festival. The band combines angsty rock with a heavy metal guitar sound. The EP begins with the optimistic message of 'Zion', a track with a groovy and heavy riff, soft pop vocals and a reggae-infused chorus that leaves a pleasant start for the emerging band. This leads to the menacing drum intro of 'Underneath', a song that feels profoundly influenced by the NU- Metal era. The soft vocals stretch over sharp riffs and basslines. The EP does start resembling a sample of early 2000s commercial metal bands. The razor-sharp riffing and vocal melodies wouldn't be out of place on national radio. 'Free The Fallen' sets a timely example of this point. 'Fever Dream' notches up the intensity with the snarling vocals and dark, groove-orientated distorted riffs. The quintet knows how to target its audience with an array of solid guitar work, dynamic bassline and pummeling drums that don't let up.
The harsh tones of 'Slow the River' emerges like a snake out of grasslands. The hook-laden chorus and alternate finger picking build to some searing guitar leads and solo. And finally, 'Rodent', the longest track on the EP in over six minutes. This is a more structured track than the others. The long instrumental passages build to emotive vocals and crunching drums to wrap things up.

Overall, A Ritual Spirit has written an album that gives listeners an appetite for seconds. The productions, songwriting, tunes, and self-awareness to grow as a band are a welcome surprise for metalheads alike.

Rating 8/10


Words by Anselm Anderson


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Comments

  1. Thanks, Anselm, for continuing to bring us new rock! :)

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Victoria. I am glad you enjoy the music.

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