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Ritual - The Hemulic Voluntary Band CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.11 | 276 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Amazing!!!

I remember a year or so ago I got two RITUAL albums issued by a Russian license (“Ritual” 1995 and “Think like a Mountain” 2003). Their music seemed very strange yet almost mainstreamy – this unique effect was reached due to high-class musicianship, tasty varied arrangements and complex vocal polyphony all drawn together with catchy melodic lines, short tracks and very ethnic feeling attached to it all. I failed to LOVE these guys’ stuff, but when I came across their new work, I decided to give few spins to “The Hemulic Voluntary Band”.

And what an album it is! All RITUAL aces are here (like YES-like vocal harmonies, LED ZEPPELIN-like rocky mood, JETHRO TULL-like folksy nature and GENTLE GIANT-like top-notch approach to arrangements and complexity), and they are still very accessible, hard to call them THAT MUCH Prog sometimes. From eponymous opener to 26-min long highlight of the album each song shines with its own beauty! My favoritest ones are “The Groke”, dark in a typically Scandinavian way, and “A Dangerous Journey”, which is unbelievably strong from melodic point – I mean, you won’t tell it lasts for 26 minutes, it’s so catchy and memorable! Seriously it’s gonna be my Epic of the Year!!!

I simply don’t know whom to recommend this one; it’s so ECLECTIC that it may become EVERYONE’s favourite!!! Check it and have almost an hour of finest Eclectic Scandinavian Prog!!! I should return to check the other two as well that I have (on this positive wave of impression), I guess. Long live Scandinavian Prog!

Prog-jester | 4/5 |


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