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Ageness Rituals album cover
2.84 | 41 ratings | 10 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ritual I (Hymn To Lappland) (0:32)
2. Forever Returns (6:20)
3. Chainsaw Murders (4:15)
4. Freeways (4:26)
5. Polyphemus (6:35)
6. Hidden Space (7:20)
7. Take Us All (3:40)
8. Silent Partners (4:32)
9. Problems (4:05)
10. Ritual II (0:59)
11. Mortal Wings Of Sin II (10:15)

Total Time: 52:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Tommy Eriksson / vocals, grand piano, guitars
- Jari Ukkonen / bass
- Kari Saaristo / drums & percussion
- Jari Laasanen / organ, synths

and some other people on various instruments

Releases information

CD Musea Records FGBG 4240.AR

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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AGENESS Rituals ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (27%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AGENESS Rituals reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog-jester
2 stars I don't own this one,but chanced to listen to all 3 "key" albums of AGENESS - "Imaginess" (2.5) , "Rituals" (2) and "Showing Paces" (1.5). I remember I was recommended to get this ones immediately because of my GENESIS/MARILLION passion.Luckily I bought none because listened to them first. "Amateur Prog" - do we have that genre? Anyway, their Gods can be pretty clearly seen through their music - IQ, GENESIS, ARENA maybe etc.But the main problem with AGENESS music that it doesn't even stands close to mentioned bands' albums.I'd rather prefer more original material then another one bad- quality copy.If "Imaginess" has few nice tunes to offer (and seems to be not that bad at all), "Rituals" and "Showing Paces" fails to conquer my attention.Not recommended
Review by progrules
3 stars Well, only the third review of this album so far. So despite the fact Ageness is on our "top 40" of bands lately because of their latest release they are not yet a big name apparently. This is my second album and review of the band. The successor Imagness was very worth while to me and made me check out more as I predicted.

Looking at the two albums in question there is really some difference and to me it's obvious that Rituals is their earlier album. Not that it's really immature but Imageness was in every sense a true progalbum with a tremendous shorter and longer epic on it. Rituals is more of a song oriented album with eleven (actually nine) more or less equable songs where quality is concerned. So therefor I will not work my way through all songs this time because it would become a repititive exercise. All songs are in between 3.00 and 3.50 stars score except for the last one, the longest track and the highlight Mortal Wings of Sin II reaching the 4 stars almost.

So I'm right in between the two already present reviews where my score and opinion is concerned. I don't think this is a poor amateurish effort nor is it a masterpiece. It's a fine album guarenteeing a one hour enjoyment, at least if you are a neo prog fan. The instrumental handling and also the compositions are the stronger aspects of Ageness. The vocals are not bad but as I said in my other review: not everyone will enjoy them I fear. A well deserved three star score for Rituals is the final verdict (3,2).

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars Figured it was time to review this one after hearing a bit of a buzz about their most recent release. I haven't heard the new one but it must be a huge upgrade over this one. AGENESS are a Neo-Prog band from Finland, the vocals are the hardest thing for me to digest and they are in English.

"Ritual I" is a very short piece with ritualistic blabber. "Forever Returns" opens with a good full sound. Vocals a minute in, this is catchy stuff. Some nice guitar too after 4 1/2 minutes. "Chainsaw Murders" has this strange sounding intro before a good rhythm takes over. It then settles as vocals arrive. Another catchy tune. "Freeways" is uptempo with prominant guitar. It settles before 2 1/2 minutes with synths and drums before it kicks back in. "Polyphemus" is led by synths and drums early. Piano then vocals come in. I like the guitar before 5 1/2 minutes. "Hidden Space" opens with rain and piano as fragile vocals come in. It gets fuller before 5 1/2 minutes.

"Take Us All" features strummed guitar, synths then vocals. A beat follows. "Silent Partners" is uptempo but settles quickly with vocals. It kicks back in before 2 minutes. Tasteful guitar follows with bass and drums. "Problems" has some levity to it both lyrically and with the rhythm. "Ritual II" features acoustic guitar melodies throughout. "Mortal Wings Of sin II" is the over 10 minute closer. Marching style drums to open as vocals join in. Guitar and bass before a minute. Piano 2 1/2 minutes in. Great sound a minute later. A nice rhythm with keys. A calm with vocals and piano after 5 minutes. It kicks back in 7 1/2 minutes with some passionate guitar.The best track by far.

Sure this has it's moments but they are few and far between. Not a very good example of Neo- Prog in my opinion.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Standard neo-prog stuff by this Finnish band. Not great but not worse than many. The mid- nineties were probably not the best for prog music but still, on the Scandinavian scene there were other calibre than "Ageness" available (but in other prog styles).

Easy listening affair, with here and there some ups ("Forever returns") and downs ("Chainsaw Murders" which is a rather dull little neo-jazzy-prog item). All the classic sounds of the genre are offered: Banks oriented keyboards (while they were three), Gabriel-esque type of vocals, powerful drumming and short electric guitar interventions (the upbeat "Freeways").

Most songs are shortly formatted and sounds more prog pop tunes (except were mentioned). Vocals are mostly annoying, as if the lead vocalist was forcing his "organ". The heavy "Polyphemus" is one example out of many of this "feature". It's a pity because it could have been a good song (very good backing band: bass and keys mainly).

There are much better neo-prog albums out there before being interested by this one (but that's exactly my case since is my 270th review of a neo-prog album). I like the genre, but mainly the classics. This is not a classic of course. It is OK while you listen to it without paying too much attention in your car or while preparing lunch?

Sub-par IQ-ish during "Hidden Space" but with much less charisma (no play on words here!), some sort of second "Solsbury Hill" for "Take Us All", a strong feel of "And Then There Were Three" for the average "Silent Partners", a tentative of "Harold The Barrel" for "Problems" and you get the picture!

The best song from this album is the closing "Mortal Wings Of Sin II". Why "II" would you say, since there is no "I" featured on this work? Well, it is only because there was already a song called " Mortal Wings of Sin" featured on their pre-debut album "Scarab" which was the first incarnation of "Ageness".

Part one was more melodic, but the song featured here is quite alright; especially thanks to some very good guitar breaks. Nothing from the other world though.

Two stars for this globally average album.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Ageness from Finland, a neo prog band that was formed from ashes of Scarab who manage to release one album in 1983. They were born in 1991 with the first album released in 1992. Three years later comes the second one named Rituals , issued in 1995 on Musea records. Well, this band was a surprise , because I guess I don't know 2 or 3 names from neo prog zone that comes from Finland and second I really enjoy this album quite contary with waht ratings have here. They play the kind of neo prog up tempo most of the time that reminds me of IQ meets Arena with a voice that sounds like Gabriel meets the guy from american prog rock band North Star. Despite the fact that the voice of Tommy Eriksson is an acquired taste but I got used to after several listnings, the instrumental arrangements are quite ok most of the time. I can't find that bad sections other mentioned here, every piece sounds good and in places even great. Pieces like Forver retutns, Chainsaw murders and the best track of the album to me is Polyphemus - a really solid pieces with good guitar , keybords and a busy bass. Another good one id the ending track Mortal Wings Of Sin II. Th e weakest tune is Hidden space, here the voice sounds pretty forced and in the most quite and mellowe moments is little hard to digest. Overall to me Rituals is good, practicaly I've enjoy it from start to finish. Ok is not a groundbreaking release or something alike, but I like what I've heared here in contrast with bad feedback got from others. 3 stars easy maybe in places 3.5.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars According to Tommy Eriksson, ''Marigold'' from ''Showing paces'' was also released as a single in 1993 and Ageness received some positive reviews regarding their fresh start.This gave the strength to the band to move on to a second album, which was definitely a more difficult creation.Guitarist Vesa Auvinen moved to the States, where he would live for the next few years, and he only contributed in the new work during his brief summer visits in Finland.As a result, some guitar parts were recorded with guest musicians.Even so, ''Rituals'' became reality in 1995, yet another independent offering by the band.

With ''Rituals'' Ageness tried to move away a bit from their strong GENESIS influences and came up with a happier, more accesible and personal style, which would reflect on the mass of groovy parts, the melodic guitar solos and the AOR-flavored synthesizers of the album.They sounded closer to acts such as FINAL CONFLICT, TIMELOCK or TRISTAN PARK, giving emphasis on pleasant synth lines, powerful singing, edgy guitar solos and leads and more compact song structures with less symphonic flourishes and more straight performances, despite the fact that the tracks were generally longer.Compositionally they remained at a very good level with extremely tight playing, great choruses and memorable themes, having an excellent bassist in the line-up and offering some very powerful and passionate music.However the unexpected twists, the GENESIS-inspired symphonic lines and the more professional executions of ''Showing paces'' are missing from this album.Lots of dramatic textures are absent and the focus in here is on positive, energetic pieces with convincing keyboard and guitar melodies.The second half of the album though comes closer to Ageness' previous attempt with more flexible compositions, featuring acoustic lines, flashy keyboard solos and eventually some well-crafted, dramatic atmospheres.

A bit of a let down compared to Ageness' impressive comeback, but ''Rituals'' is still an album to be appreciated by the whole Neo Prog community and fans of the more accesible side of Progressive Rock due to its solid and memorable material.Recommended.

Review by Matti
3 stars AGENESS were central prog revivalists in Finland in the 90's, and what's more, a pre-Ageness group called SCARAB existed already in the early 80's. They represent the clean Neo Prog style more than any other Finnish group before or after them. The first proper Ageness album Showing Paces (1993) showed GENESIS influences and admiration in a rather amateurish and naive way, both in music and in lyrics. The second album Rituals is notably more mature.

The leading man Tommy Eriksson (composing, keyboards, vocals) has a very distinctive voice comparable to Peter Nicholls of IQ. Especially the keyboards are audibly Tony Banks influenced (think of Genesis from A Trick of the Tail to the 1983 eponymous album). Other likely associations from these tightly performed, accessible songs include the 80's synth period of RUSH, and SAGA. The 32-second opening track is just a sonic vignette for synths and a voice sample. 'Forever Returns' is a bold and catchy prog rocker that SAGA might have done in their prime. Weak 'Chainsaw Murders' is hardly progressive at all. 'Freeways' feels like a cross between an average SAGA song and Fish-era MARILLION at their most commercial. Curiously the synth pattern in the quieter section resembles the one in Marillion's 'The Last Straw' ("we live our lives in private shells...", you know?).

'Polyphemus' also gives an association, as it begins with similar soft guitar chords as RUSH's 'Red Barchetta', but this composition manages to build less predictable progressive edge, and sounds pretty interesting compared to preceding mediocre songs. 'Hidden Space' is one of the highlights, a relatively slow song with melancholic depth and a fine acoustic guitar appearance. 'Take Us All' with an acoustic guitar riff in its core is a bright nice song, feeling slightly similar as Marillion's 'After You'.

'Silent Partners' dives into shady dramatics and offers surprisingly many cool prog details in less than 5 minutes. Following a little bit silly black humour song 'Problems' - another Marillion association! - , 'Ritual II (Renaissance)' is exactly what the album needed at this point: a classically oriented acoustic guitar solo. A pity that it lasts only 59 seconds... The 10-minute 'Mortal Wings of Sin II' is a sequel to a Scarab track, and a definite prog highlight here.

Sure, the influences and even some direct resemblances can be heard here and there, but Ageness also proves to have a personality of their own in this finely produced and mostly quite enjoyable Neo Prog album.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Not their finest hour. Ageness from Finland returns with their third album. Officially, it is their second album though. The Scarab album is more a Scarab album than an Ageness album. Well, enough about that. It seems like Ageness is having problems finding their feet on this album. The resu ... (read more)

Report this review (#447833) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, May 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Being a huge fan of progressive rock, I find Ageness really entertaining and innovative. Rituals is their masterpiece by far. The production and playing here is even better than on their previous album Showing Paces, and most of the songs are excellent. The material is also varied enough, ... (read more)

Report this review (#219460) | Posted by Syrinxter | Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album came out in 1996 and I remember getting later in the year. There are some really standout songs and this album also shows the talent and creativity in the band. The guest musicians are great bonus and strangely Vesa Auvinen isn't credited as a bandmember. but mentioned as one of the g ... (read more)

Report this review (#218627) | Posted by SaraLambert | Thursday, May 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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