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Review: Ritual - Epic Sagas
Ritual
www.facebook.com/ritualblackmetal
Epic Sagas

Label: Narcoleptica Productions
Year released: 2018
Duration: 48:47
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 11, 2019
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
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Epic Sagas

Rated 4/5 (80%) (1 Vote)
Review


Lots of drama in the background of this band. If you missed it, there was quite a bit of struggle over the Ritual name in the years after the release of Soldiers Under Satan's Command, with the final winner being longtime band leader Ian Fleming. Fleming apparently didn't have a lot to do with Soldiers..., and so the newer albums sound very different.

So, if you are expecting more of the riffy, Black/Thrash attack of that classic album, then you will not really be prepared for this. I don't say that as a cut, as this album is really very good, but it's not anything like that one. Epic Sagas is a powerful workout in epic, melodic, expansive Black Metal. The riffs are highly melodic, almost doomy in places, and the songs overall are long and quite intricate. Fleming's vocals are a rather undistinguished rasp, but the songwriting is more than rewarding enough to overcome that.

I find the only drawback this album has is the specter of Soldiers Under Satan's Command lurking over its shoulder. That album — whatever personal circumstances produced it — was awesome, and a lot of people want more of that, and this incarnation of Ritual is never going to produce it. However, this is a more than worthy album of hooky, sometimes beautiful music, and should not be overlooked.

Other related information on the site
Review: Chapter 666 (1993-1994) (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Demonic Winter Metal (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Soldiers Under Satan's Command (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Resurrection (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Ian Fleming on February 10, 2010 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Robert Ritual on November 8, 2009 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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