Sometimes when a band pull from as broad and deep a well of musical inspirations as Ritual Dictates have done on their debut album, the results can be disjointed and chaotically jarring. But when the interweaving of stylistic ingredients is as masterfully and naturally accomplished as it is here, the results can stand out from the pack, and provide a multi-faceted experience that’s an enormous thrill. And that’s the best single word I can think of for Give In To Despair — it’s a thriller, from beginning to end.
The singles released from the album so far have already attracted a lot of excited attention around the web, but for those who might be encountering this band for the first time (and it’s a good time, because we’re streaming the whole album today), it’s a project formed by ex-3 Inches of Blood members Justin Hagberg and Ash Pearson (who’s also the drummer of Revocation), both of whom have also been members of Allfather (Canada) and Angel Grinder, respectively. And for this grand debut, they also enlisted an eye-opening group of guest performers from metal and rock, whose names are worth listing before we go further: