Anti Ritual

Anti Ritual EP

Written by: PP on 21/07/2014 22:12:38

There's a new trend brewing not just in Denmark but elsewhere in Europe when it comes to hardcore. It's now in to combine the style with an abrasive, metallic and/or blackened soundscape to stray far away from the NYHC origins and become one with the cold and gray winters of Scandinavia. There's a handful of these bands in the Danish underground ready for international attention, of which Hexis is probably the most known one, though one shouldn't discount the genre's national forefathers in The Psyke Project either. One of the newer entrants to the scene is Anti Ritual from Copenhagen, whose lineup reads among others Jacob Krogholt of Rising fame, albeit his new unit is rather more chaotic and aggressively toned than the sludgy grooves of his past ventures.

"Anti-Ritual" EP is their debut effort, featuring six tracks of unforgiving, soul crushing blackened hardcore that occasionally drops the latter tag entirely and dives straight into the world of black metal, as seen on EP highlight "No Second Earth". Here, tremolo style guitars provide subtle melody to an expression that's otherwise murderously heavy and abrasive, more often than not delivered at breakneck speed like a freight train heading for a brick wall. But Anti Ritual are also able to slow things down as is evident on the punishing EP closer "A New Discourse On Enlightenment", which sees a far slower tempo and thus allows the song to sound even more crushing than its d-beat cousins earlier on. The soundscape has room to broaden somewhat from the tight confines of the blackened hardcore format that otherwise dominates the disc, which is good, because it allows for the creation of atmosphere. Here, the howls especially recall The Psyke Project during their "Apnea" years, though otherwise the song has far more in common with the black & hardcore scene.

Throughout the six songs the band achieve a uniform sound, but one that feels a tad monotonous by the end. Yes, it's brutal, blacker than thou, and razor-sharp in its guitar and bass torment, but does it really leave behind more thoughts than that at the listener? For the time being, I am not so convinced. It races by in approximately fifteen minutes of brutalized shredding and tearing growls, but aren't there a dozen other bands doing this exact same thing right now?

Download: No Second Earth
For the fans of: Hexis, Discharge, From Ashes Rise, The Secret, The Psyke Project
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 28.04.2014
Indisciplinarian Records / Vendetta Records

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