Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Ritual King - S/T

This is a monster record. I think the thing with stoner rock is just that if the tone isn't good the album isn't good. Yet when the tone is good, assuming you don't fuck up your songwriting - then you're in for a treat. Regular readers know that I frequently run out of patience with some of the more jam oriented stuff in the genre. But here's the thing. While Ritual King certainly place a focus on that, their extended jams actually are a whole hell of a lot of fun to listen too. It's hard not to feel energized and ready to roar down the highway with Ritual King blasting!

Ritual King understand that songwriting doesn't need to be conventional to work well. Tracks like "602" while they certainly take their time also make sense within the context of the record. There is a distinct sense of groove and the sort of perpetual forward motion here is something that you can get lost in. This record feels like a massive achievement for the band simply because they so elegantly intertwine layers and eagerly point towards bold new futures that routinely allow the band to stand a head and shoulders above their peers. When the execution is this tight - what more could you even want?

There are layers within layers that make Ritual King a delight to listen too. While pentatonic ideas run free it is also clear that Ritual King are turned onto a lot more in terms of music theory than many of their peers. The elegant runs that define a track like 'Dead Roads' speaks to the level of knowledge that the band is bringing in to back up the music. This is a potent record and one that constantly demands more attention from the listener. The band have outdone themselves here and I'm curious to see where it goes next!

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1 comment:

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