The dark and sensual electronic pop act Adoration Destroyed return on the heels of their 'carnal Dirge' single with 'Ritual Damage', a full-length release that blends modern edm influences with hints of synthpop, darkwave, industrial, and classic ebm. Spearheaded by Erik Gustafson of 16 Volt fame, the band are quickly and quite rightly making a name for themselves. But will the album live up to the hype?
Thankfully, yes it does. The band have intelligently mixed catchy and dance friendly tracks with left-field flair to create a bass-heavy and rhythmically pleasing core to the album that will undoubtedly find favour in the club scene, but also lends itself to more intimate listening experiences.
Songs such as 'Here To Bleed', 'Torn Apart', 'Carnal Dirge', 'Last', and 'In Elegant Decay' are slow, methodical, sexy and powerful as they combine steady beats, deep bass, catchy melodies, and emotive vocals to create a dark but very approachable backbone. While the likes of 'Never Mine', 'Nothing Left', and 'Both Of Me' kick things up just a bit for a heavier dose of the band's intentions.
The biggest pleasure has to be the cover of Marilyn Manson's 'Coma White', a song that has been given a few overhauls by alternative electronic bands, but Adoration Destroyed comfortably make it their own.
The two remixes courtesy of 16 Volt, and Mr. Kitty add a little extra to the proceedings with 16 Volt's remix of 'Here To Bleed' seeing a rather cool stripped-back blend of edm and techno. While Mr. Kitty gives 'In Elegant Decay' a very nice and futuristic synthpop overhaul.
The production is excellent, with a modern but slightly retro-tinged flavour running throughout. But the songs, despite not varying greatly in pace, maintain a steady and methodical resolve that grabs your attention and doesn't let go until the very end.
This is a very promising album that hints a great things from Adoration Destroyed. There are points where the temptation would have been to add some variation in tempo would have injected something a little different. But the album doesn't actually need that, and the band have instead focussed on song-craft and honing their sound into a strong one, which definitely shines through here. Hopefully we'll see more releases from the band sooner rather than later.