Ritual Clearing

Ritual Clearing

This North American Black Metal acts really has potential to take th throne of darkness!
December 21, 2023

After a beginning drowned in 80s Thrash/Black Metal influences, the North American Black Metal School came to a personal format that bears the same essence of USA Metal School (care on the arrangements, refined melodies, Hard Rock influences, and others), just adjusted to the genre. It’s not so hard to understand such thing after years and years hearing and exploring things with the mind. All of this to say that “Penitence”, the first album of the North American acts RITUAL CLEARING (that hails from Connecticut) is a good surprise.

The band has a load of Northern Black Metal into their music (what means that they have influences from Norwegian and Swedish scenes), but a massive and sensible North American Metal DNA pulsing into their blackened and charming music. In some ways, it can remind the fans of ANCIENT during “The Cainian Chronicle” days due its ferocious guitars and crude ambiences, but it’s just an impression, because they bear a darkened personality pulsing under their songs, with very good rhythmic contrasts and nasty shrieks along with the caustic guitars. It’s very good, indeed.

The production worked on a form that preserves those lo-fi aspects used on classical Black Metal models, but using such features in a form that their musical expression can show an organic morbid feeling. It’s nasty and somber (due the choice of the bands of the tunes used on the guitars), but heavy and defined. It’s good, but their music deserves anything better.

Musically, the six songs of “Penitence” are what the Old School Black Metal fans look for: simple, nasty and ruthless, but again: the band is using a different and personal way into it (even when the listeners can’t perceive it). But for a band that prefer to use long timespans, it demands a lot of rhythmic shifts as well, so one can check their potential on “Burn” (a fast song with excellent fast piledriving rhythms of bass guitar and drums, but prepare for tempo changes as well), “Penitence” (the brutal grasp of the song is imposed by the guitar riffs and arrangements), “Cold, Forever” (the slow paced tempos boost the oppressive ambiences in some moments, but the band shows some faster parts as well, with sharp shrieks filling the spaces), and “Void”. It needs some maturing, but’s good and promising now.

“Penitence” works as a good first coming for the quintet, but as they have potential, maybe the following release of RITUAL CLEARING can come ripping ears apart.

7 / 10









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"Ritual Clearing" Track-listing:
  1. Burn
  2. Penitence
  3. Cold, Forever
  4. Deathfog
  5. Void
  6. Mensis
Ritual Clearing Lineup:

D.M. - Vocals
O.M. - Guitars
R.G. - Guitars
B.F. - Bass
B.P. - Drums

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