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Ritual - Superb Birth CD (album) cover

SUPERB BIRTH

Ritual

Crossover Prog


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Greger
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Finally the new RITUAL album have arrived. RITUAL released their debut album, simply called "Ritual", in 1995. Looking back it's quite clear that their debut album was one of the best debut albums in the 90's, so it was with great excitement I started listening to their follow-up "Superb Birth". Although their music has changed a bit since the debut you can still hear the typical RITUAL sound and compositions with great musicianship. Their music is a mixture between ANEKDOTEN, The FLOWER KINGS, Folk music, JETHRO TULL, LED ZEPPELIN and RUSH. The tracks are the opening "Dinosaur Spaceship", the folky acoustic "Golden Angel", "Coming Home", "Really Something", "Lobby", the oriental "6/8" with cello, violin and viola, "Into The Heat", the Led Zeppelinish "Sadly Unspoken", the single "Did I Go Wrong", the Led Zeppelinish "Mothersong", "A Voice Of Divinity" with only a grand piano and great vocals from Patrik Lundström and the closing "Do You Want To See The Sun". RITUAL have managed to record an album that almost equals their debut album, and they have had a great impact on the progressive rock of the 90's. I certainly hope that they will take their music into the new millenium so that we can have many RITUAL albums in the future. Highly recommended and a superb album!
Report this review (#6348)
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars After the bands very good debut album there were high hopes for this albums considering the high quality of the musicians involved. But, I have to say, I was dissapointed. This album is not up to par to their debut. The special sound that this band has is almost gone for more hmmm....harder edge and not as inspiring. I rate it 2.5. I know these guys can do better.
Report this review (#154532)
Posted Thursday, December 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars How can a band like Ritual who are packed with excellent musicians go from being a really excellent band on their debut album to being below average band on their sophmore release Superb Birth ? Well really it´s not a matter of the musicians but more a matter of song writing skills, and Ritual seems to have lost the inspiration in the four years between the two releases. I really think the debut is excellent prog rock with symphonic and folky tendencies and a worthy purchase. Things change though don´t they ?

The beautiful prog tendencies that were very much present on the debut are almost gone from Superb Birth and when I mention the albums and bands this reminds me of you´ll understand just about how this sounds. Queensryche´s Here in the Now Frontier, Alice in Chains´s Jar of Flies ( I really like this EP but it has a similar sound, just much much better) and Soundgarden´s last album Down on the Upside. All albums with a warm but somewhat dull sound. On top of that I hear some eastern influences on Superb Birth too. There a literally no songs that stand out from the others. Just a grey mass of trivial grunge inspired rock.

The musicianship is very good though and this helps the album from total failure. I just miss the exciting instrumentation that were on the debut. According to the credits they play all sorts of instruments on the album, but most of the album is with pretty normal rock intrumentation.

The sound quality is ok if you like this kind of production. Personally I don´t like it at all. It´s way to murky and grunge inspired. I like the clear production on the debut much better.

All in all I can´t give this album more than 2 stars. It has been a major disappointment to listen to and I´m sure only real fans of the band can find pleasure in this. I wouldn´t recommend this to more conventional prog rock fans.

Report this review (#163901)
Posted Friday, March 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars It's funny that this is considered by their fans to be the least favourite yet it's the one I like the most. It's pretty straightforward music without that World-Music flavour that is prevelant with their others. And it's their most powerful album as well. It's loud.The band thanks THE FLOWER KINGS, ANEKDOTEN, GALLEON and Hansi Cross among others in the liner notes.

"Do You Want To See The Sun" has a heavy beat with vocals to start then it kicks in at the chorus as these contrasts continue. Catchy stuff. "Lobby" is also catchy and loud. "Sadly Unspoken" features strummed guitar as the vocals join in. "Did I Go Wrong" has this dark and heavy intro then it lightens when the vocals come in.The heaviness does come and go.

"6/8" opens with violin but it kicks in quickly with vocals. It's more powerful 1 1/2 minutes in as contrasts continue. "Coming Home" is an uplifting and powerful tune. "Into The Heat" is uptempo with vocals. "Really Something" has a heavy beat with vocals. "Mothersong" is another powerful track. "Golden Angel" opens with strummed guitar as the vocals join in. It does pick up and we get some clapping after 3 minutes. "Dinosaur Spaceship" opens with disonance and drums as the vocals join in.This rocks out pretty good as well. "A Voice Of Divinity" features piano and laid back vocals. Not a fan of this one.

3.5 stars

Report this review (#371962)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2011 | Review Permalink

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