The Ritual Fires Of Abandonment

Written by: PP on 19/04/2007 16:49:28

Doom metal albums are always difficult to review. The border between the genre and progressive rock is often so blurry that even the industry experts have difficulty differentiating one from the other. Minsk is one of the bands that fall somewhere in between that foggy line, integrating doom metal's painstaking slowness and depressive atmospheres with progressive rock's tendency to build from simple beginnings to final crescendos of all instruments in the last moments of a song.

Take the first track, "Embers", for instance, from Minsk's new album "The Ritual Fires Of Abandonment". The first seven minutes or so consists only of a tribal drum beat and distant croons on the backround, but as the song slowly progresses past the ten minute mark, instrumentals slowly increase to full blow with rumbling guitars, stronger vocals now almost resembling real singing, and even some strange psychadelic effects and samples that wouldn't feel out of place on a Mogwai album.

The first two minutes of the second song "White Wings" confirm my suspicions which "Embers" aroused: Minsk's sound has too many dimensions to be confined in simply one genre, be it doom metal or progressive rock. The song sounds like a direct continuation from "Embers", but without the saddening atmosphere that the first few minutes created. It remains ambiguous exactly how the atmosphere should be interpreted, as the vocalist thunders extended shrieks that rage across the whole spectrum, only to return back to the melancholic cries heard on the first track. It's as if we are witnessing some strange ritual taking place on the album.

"Mescaline Sunrise", the third of the six track album, is so quiet it's necessary to turn the volume button all the way up to be able to hear the little details, drawing a parallel to closely studying all the wonders of a beautiful sunrise somewhere in the tropics. The track consists mostly of pure ambience, with the occasional echoing guitar riff or two. Can you talk about a deeply twisted track?

Ambience and curious sound effects are the name of the game for Minsk. Their sound is thought provoking and inspirational, and most importantly, original. Even though it is possible to draw the occasional parallel or two to Tool or Bokor, they are just small nuances and are erased almost as fast as they appear. "The Ritual Fires Of Abandonment" is very much the kind of music that will dazzle you with its intelligence and overall originality, and it is difficult to name any band who sounds exactly like them. To me, that is the most positive aspect of all.


Download: Embers, White Wings
For the fans of: Tool, Bokor, Pelican, Unearthly Trance
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.02.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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