Monday, April 30, 2018

Album Review: Rites to Sedition - Ancestral Blood

Rites to Sedition
Ancestral Blood
** out of *****

The Charlotte, North Carolina based Rites to Sedition loves to shoot for the grandiose while mining the various sub-genres of the metal world on their debut release Ancestral Blood. The group bounces between long extended passages of melodic/symphonic/speed/black and death metal building cinematic drama and tension.

The five piece of Brian Kingsland - Vocals, Gabriel Lucia - Guitars, Keys, Vocals, Jon Westmoreland - Guitars, Jesse Lane - Bass, Mitch Moore - Drums, use dynamics pairing the long running numbers with the respites, some of which are no more than nature sounds around wolves howling ("The Lunar Approach"). A better example is the opening tension filled "Advent" which leads ominously into the the fret board dynamics of "Waveform 66".

A mega example of the power of the players comes along in "The Moon Titan Phylon". Colored by double bass drums, guttural vocal howls and insanely fast guitar work the track is a metallic monster, however, the underlying lynch pin is the soaring sense of ever present drama taking the listener on an insane rocket ride to the cosmos without remaining cold and robotic. The song is an album standout that rides dramatic waves and crashes over it's ten and a half minute run time but never lets up on the ferocity and technical ability. 

Too many bands that play this sort of music sound like machines but Rites of Sedition also play with emotion and feel alive among the fury and histrionics.

That's not to say everything is great their first time out. Like all bands of this ilk the vocals are there for coloring only while closer "The Golden Age of Saturnia" runs on long rehashing album themes without adding much new, acting more as overkill than a final album statement.

The production is also very lacking, (leading to removal of ranking stars above) the sound can become tinny with all of the instruments clamoring for the ear. The cymbals in particular frustratingly wash away rather than truly clang with precision and the mixes are uneven as all the instrumentation does not have proper room to breath losing, the bass at times almost completely. 

As the band grows though they have a solid core of songs and epics to build off of. "Echelons of Imposition" uses the keyboard backing to lift off, the title tracks impending sense of doom matches nicely with its marching/head banging underlying groove and "Sorcerers of Atlantis" amps up the thrash vibe. "Wartide" condenses all of the bands melodic metallic elements successfully into a track that manages to stay under five minutes, a rarity.
Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

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