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Minsk - The Ritual Fires Of Abandonment CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.20 | 25 ratings

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4 stars The Ritual Fires of Abandonment is the second album from US, Illinois based experimental/ post metal act Minsk. The album was released on Relapse Records who must be considered one of the leading record companies when it comes to signing experimental metal bands ( Mastodon, Cephalic Carnage, Nile...etc.).

Allthough Minsk probably kneel at the altar of Neurosis before they go to bed at night thereīs much more to their music than just being a clone of the masters. What leads my thoughts to Neurosis is the extremely heavy guitars and slow pace, but especially the almost tribal drumming which dominates the album. A band like Pelican also comes to mind because of the melodic touch and the long slow building almost post rock like parts which are also a big part of the album. The psychadelic side of their music is mostly created by the monotenous ( which is a positive thing in my world) haunted vocals and especially the clever use of synth.

The music is very atmospheric and I really enjoy the dark and haunted mood that Minsk create. There are six songs on the album. Three shorter songs ( about 4-5 minutes each) and three longer songs ( about 13-15 minutes each). The album starts with the 13:48 minute long Embers which sets the mood of the album. Slow building ( but never boring), heavy and psychadelic. White Wings is next and itīs one of the shorter songs on the album. Itīs also the most heavy metal influenced song on the album, or rather post hardcore/ metal. White Wings is also the most uptempo song on the album ( Itīs mid-pace while most other songs are slow). Mescaline Sunrise is as the title suggests a psychadelic atmospheric track. A mood creator. A pleasant listen after the harsh White Wings. Itīs the shortest song on the album with itīs 4:43 minutes. Then on to The Orphans of Piety which is a 14:41 minute long track. Challenging atmospheric post metal. What a great song. It even has a saxophone part which reminded me a bit of how Ulver sounded on Perdition City (2000). Circle of Ashes is almost in Post rock style and kind of a calm before the storm that is the ending 15:39 minute long Ceremony EK Stasis. Itīs such a powerful and varied track. Very dynamic with both loud heavy parts and mellow post rock parts. Thereīs even a kind of latin inspired section with another saxophone part.

The musicianship is excellent. The very basic instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums are done in a way that suggests that more people are playing. Minsk really have the ability to sound grand. The vocals by Tim Mead are very strong wether itīs his normal vocals or his more raw side that shows. Note that there are nothing that resembles growling on this album. The aggressive vocal parts are just angry vocals not growls.

The production is excellent. I especially noted the drum sound which I found very enjoyable but everything sounds great IMO.

The Ritual Fires of Abandonment have the advantage that it should appeal to both post metal and post rock fans. Itīs heavy but Iīm sure that most post rock fans will find it sophisticated enough to enjoy as well. Iīve had this album lying around for quite a while without really giving it a chance and thatīs such a shame because it deserves lots of attention and praise IMO. That error is fortunately corrected now. 4 stars is well deserved and I count on great things from Minsk in the future. Fans of bands like Neurosis, Isis, Pelican, Cult of Luna and other related acts should invest in this album. Iīm sure youīll have yourself a positive surprise. I know I did.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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