Thursday 22 March 2018

Review: Ritualz – 'Doom'


Formerly communicated as †‡†, Mexican producer Juan Garcia, AKA Ritualz, returns with 'Doom' and album that is hell bent on dragging witch house back towards gothic-industrial territory... whether it wants to or not. It has been a while since Garcia released a full album that wasn't a collection or rarities, so while this is a little unexpected it certainly feels overdue to a degree. But it isn't a case of too little too late, instead we're presented with the most well-rounded and mature Ritualz release too date.

Tracks such as 'To Black', 'Journey', 'Rats', 'Echoes', 'Lust Eternal', and 'The Last Of Us' combine the experimental end of witch house with the classic elements of electro, industrial, darkwave, and goth that evokes the likes of Skinny Puppy, Sisters Of Mercy, era II Mortiis, and even Blutengel. The end result is a balanced and unifying sound. While the likes of 'Trash Mental' and 'Pig' bring things into a heavier, near aggrotech territory. And there is even room for a little out and out experimentation with 'Spazz', 'Agony', and 'Doom' providing the most overt links back to his earlier witch house sounds.

In terms of production the album deals heavily in dark gothic atmospheres which effectively unites each track no matter which direction they go in. It's a far more polished and mature sound the reflects the darkwave and sometimes ambient elements that crop up. It is evident that a lot of experimentation and refining has gone into this album and it has definitely paid off.

This is hands down the best Ritualz album so far. It is engrossing and engaging from start to finish and reaffirms the links between goth and the darker end of the witch house spectrum. Ambitious and mature, it is an album crafted with care and attention that connects the dots between the two worlds and presents a beautifully evolved hybrid at the end of it.

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