Sep 16, 2012
Dea Marica - "Ritual of the Banished" ...
There are only five songs on this album ranging from 7 to 9 minutes in length and the tunes are indeed epic in nature, not just in playing times. The key to most of this is emotion and that is further enhanced by vocalist Robert Mura who has a rich, warm emotive voice. While I like his voice, some of you may be put off slightly by his sometimes overly dramatic phrasing and accent. Musically the album goes from the crushing riffing of songs like 'Balefire' to the extremely emotional and melancholic title track that closes the album but there is not much here in the way of originality. 'The Wild Hunt' and 'The Silence of the Shore' seem to stand out as album highlights but the album as a whole piece of work is very solid and consistent.
The pacing of the album is slow and even slower and the atmosphere is one of pure sorrow. The only major negative I can come up with is the less than impressive production. This album does sound a little muddy and that does diminish some of the album's heaviness and emotional elements but it is hard to fault any of the tracks this album has on offer. The vocals might not be every one's cup of doom either but overall, these are small problems the album has. Fans of Mirror of Deception, Warning, Paradise Lost and of course Gallow God should find a lot to like about 'Ritual of the Banished.' It won't change the world of doom metal but it shows enormous potential for the future of this band and fans of all the doom metal sub-genres should be able to get some enjoyment out of this release.....8/10.
Words: Jack Sabbath