Friday, June 21, 2024

Ritual Clearing – Penitence

The Connecticut-based outfit known as Ritual Clearing impressed this scribe greatly with their self-titled demo release three years ago, and this upcoming six-track full-length onslaught was therefore eagerly anticipated and something that was high on the list of records to check out this year. What exactly does Penitence contain and consist of then? Raw, fierce, and utterly potent black metal would be one way of summing it up, but there are more layers and nuances to these Americans’ deeply evocative and haunting soundscapes than meet the eye, so a little more analysis and discussion is called for here.  

The interesting thing about these six compositions is that while none of them come across as being decidedly inventive or musically adventurous, they are not merely a blast from a distant black metal past. What is meant by that is that although the music sounds vaguely like a mixture of Under the Sign of Hell by Gorgoroth, Finis Malorum by Sacramentum, and arguably even Sorhin around the time of their utterly misanthropic Apokalypsens Ängel, Ritual Clearing’s song material is simply too energetic and driven by passion to sound like a cheap carbon copy of anything else out there despite being firmly entrenched in some of the more traditional variants of black metal, if that makes sense.

With the raging album opener ‘Burn’ instantly bringing that unmistakable whiff of fire and brimstone to life and the epic title track being the most instantly accessible one on the disc, ‘Cold, Forever’ very much feels like the centrepiece of the LP, and its acoustic outro is as melodically gorgeous as it is beautiful. ‘Deathfog’ is controlled chaos at its best while the eerie ‘Void’ is as intense as they come, and the kaleidoscopic vortex of grim riffs that is ‘Mensis’ delivers the final climactic blow and ensures that the record reaches its sinister and twisted finale in the most fitting of ways. The amount of unfiltered fury that courses through the album is staggering and positively frightening to behold.

These gentlemen are on blistering form on Penitence, and this is one of those instances where thick, impenetrable atmospheres of suffocating darkness and an abundance of unearthly riffs and strong melodies join forces to great effect and manage to complement each other at every turn. While you are at it, make sure you check the aforementioned demo from 2020 out on Bandcamp as well.  

Penitence will be released by Eternal Death on November 17, 2023.

https://eternaldeath.bandcamp.com/album/penitence

Jens Nepper
Jens Nepperhttps://floodgatemoodsproductions.bandcamp.com/
Born and raised in Denmark, currently living in Norway, and hopelessly addicted to coffee and Black Sabbath.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

seventeen − 13 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RAMzine is proud to support The Mike James Rock Show!

Latest Articles

The Connecticut-based outfit known as Ritual Clearing impressed this scribe greatly with their self-titled demo release three years ago, and this upcoming six-track full-length onslaught was therefore eagerly anticipated and something that was high on the list of records to check out this year....Ritual Clearing – Penitence