Band : Ritualistic
Album/EP : Hollowborn
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label : N/A
Location : Virginia
FFO : Cognitive, Continuum, Aronious
You would think that after almost two years of doing this page, that I would not be nervous to check out a new band I’ve never heard of. Nope, I most definitely still am. But that’s also why I do this, to expose myself to bands id probably never listen to otherwise. Ive seen some decent hype around Hollowborn by Ritualistic, so when Rob Wharton asked me to review it, I figured id give it a shot.
The production is a little different from what I’m used to. It sounds like it was recorded back in the myspace deathcore era. Gritty tones, with vocals that either dont fit, or they are gorgeous and blend right in. My only real complaint product/mix wise, is the grittiness of the instruments. It could just be my headphones, I mean, I have had them for quite a few years now. But I feel the recording could have been just a smidge cleaner. The cymbals feels like they were mixed a little quieter than most death metal is.
Now, I do want to point out, the writing is fantastic. They have the style of classic melodic tech death. Which is what I think stands out the most. The writing is huge in this type of genre. I feel that all they really need to do is clean up the production just a wee bit, and they have them selves a near perfect record.
As I mentioned, the writing in the tech death genre is pretty important. You can’t just write a heavy riff or two and throw in a sloppy sounding solo. Only Kerry King can do that (i actually love Slayer. So dont get your panties in a bunch). These guys seem to know how write some definite head banging riffs. I love me some good head banging riffs. You know those ones where all the members do some in unison head banging, and you can’t help but join in. Yeah, Those riffs. They layer in some ambient like notes and sprinkle it with a dash of technicality. That writing style make the songs flow almost seamlessly.
Not a whole lot of bands can do that now. Its either they pigeon hole themselves into one genre, or they are almost to experimental and that makes me lose interest. I’m not to terribly sure what the theme/ lyrical content is of the record. I wish I knew. If you’re in the band and reading this, please, message us. I want to know. It sounds like it has a bit of an epic journey of some sort.
Now, as much as I like certain aspects of this record. I can’t say ill go out of my way to put this on. But if a song happens to come on, I definitely won’t skip it. I’m sure it’ll grow on me as time goes on. Most records do if I’m not sure about them. This appears to be their debut record, so I have nothing to compare it to either. But for being a debut, its a pretty solid one.
Overall, its definitely a solid listen. The Tech Death influences sprinkled with some Slam like gutturals is definitely something you don't hear to much. Hollowborn is a record that perfectly showcases a newer band and gives a glimpse in to what they have the chance to become. I definitely still recommend this record. Ill be sure to keep an eye out for your future records boys.
Star Rating: 8.5/10
Strongest Song: Call of Morbidity
P.S. if you know the theme to this record, please contact us.