The Power of Three, Will Manifest Their Metal Magick Destiny
Ritual Moon Album Review
By D’Monic Boris Lee
From the author,
What’s going to happen in 2021? Positives for those who think it. Freedom from pain for those who deserve it. And the same old bullsh*t for those who need to remain negative and controlled. Yesterday can’t be fixed. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Right now is here, and how you decide to REACT to the moment will determine your destiny. You are in control of your reactions to the circumstances placed upon you. Yes, you are.
Purge your pain. Take care of your heart. And for f*ck sakes, leave yesterday where it belongs… in the history books. Write your destiny. Manifest your Magick. This is the year you find freedom from fear and find out that everything beautiful you need is in your grasp.
Create a legacy that others will look upon with in awe and find inspiration from. Write a book. Take up music. Cook that souffle. Go hiking. Run a race. Get clean. Color with your kids. Or just simply find peace in yourself that opens you up to true happiness. Have a horn raisin’ and head bangin’ 2021!
Thank you to the Metal Babe, Alison Masson, for keeping the gates of music journalism open to this review Daemon. Thank you to all the artists who are ready to share their creative craziness with the world. Thank you to all the Symptom of the Metalverse readers and supporters of my other writing work. You all give me a reason to get pissed off at editing software, my eyesight, and typos regularly to keep you entertained. Without further delay, welcome to Symptom of the Metalverse 2021!
As above, so below, these three ladies have the musical flow. With their tune spells cast, the metal audience enthralled, heads bang fast. Horns raised and hair tossed, their music has you crossed. To the pit you shall flee, unable to escape their musical sorcery.
December 17, 2015, is when I first met Mars and Bee after opening a show for Vicious Rumors in Los Angeles. That night I knew the ladies were talented. As I have said before, the band they played in at that time, Sirenhex, was a huge part in my regaining belief in the local music scene having talent the world needed to know about. They played a huge part in my return to writing music reviews and since that day, I have sat back and waited for Mars and Belen to show just how powerful their Musical Magick could be.
April 6, 2019, Under a Mars Moon Bee Unstoppable Success, laid the cards on the table of fortune for Mars and Belen. What that review of the Ritual Moon demo release said to me was this is only the beginning of their path work as a musical force to be reckoned with.
Almost a year to the day later, Moshing Metal Moon Magick introduced me to the second offering to the Metal Gods from Ritual Moon, a split album with Harlequin and the debut of the newest coven member, Rachel Solis, on bass. Although the creativity conjured up the ladies best song to date, there was still a gnosis to be received from the Gods before they could consider their melodic monster a masterpiece.
The Power of Three Will Manifest Their Metal Magick Destiny. The power of the third release from Ritual Moon, along with the power of working in a creative coven of three, has brought something from these ladies that is on course with their musical destiny. This third release is the first full album offering of all original music from Ritual Moon (available Friday, January 13, 2021), and judging by the thunderous energetic vibrations emanating from my speakers, the Metal Gods are moshing with magnificent approval.
From the moment of stepping up to the alter of Metal Music, lighting the incense and pressing play, you know something Magick is coming your way. Just the excellent album presentation with cover artwork by Jimstah Slayer, CD Layout and Tape J Card Design – Olivia Franks of Live Undead Designs, and Layout art by Ming Ling, told me the ladies put something special together for the offering dish. With the cauldron fire lit, I meditated on the cacophony of Death-Thrash.
The summoning of my review powers begins with “Grave Soul.” The moment Belen’s haunting growls swim through my speakers and the first notes smash into my senses, I knew the ladies improved their spell work. “Grave Soul” had a much better flow than upon its original release. The recording and mixing of the album, done at Allen Falcon at Birdcage Studios, shows the band members’ individual improvements, while blending the overall band presentation into perfection. Sound goes far in musical offerings, and this album sounds sinfully symphonic.
Time and attention. That is what it takes to perform a proper ritual with success, and with the title track of the album coming in next, this “Coven of Creativity” did just that. They gave their time and attention to their signature spell and manifested the second best song on the album. Though another previously released song, the improvements in the musicianship are masterful. Those improvements begin with Mars. I have considered Mars the best drummer in the local LA scene since I first heard her in twenty-seventeen. Go back and read my pervious reviews and interviews surrounding her work and you’ll see my points. Focusing on now, Mars found a way out of her traditional “Thrash Beat” work and played some complicated rhythms on the album. She created something that sounds simple at first, but if you listen to the intricacies of her work, particularly the bass drums and cymbal crashes between her time keeping on the snare, Mars is a beast. I knew this girl was talented and to hear that with prominence on this song, and the entire record for that matter, it is like watching the Magician open up a portal they had the key to all along, and finally worked out the direction to turn the lock. (Basically, I smiled.)
The first of the new music on the album starts with “Your Own God.” It also is the first point where I shall speak into review reality the “Beastial Bass Blessings” of Rachel Solis. The ferocity of her bass work on this song and the entire album is as energetic as it is coordinated. Listening to her bass notes on “Your Own God,” took me back to my childhood when Cliff Burton was writing the scrolls of thrash bass playing. The four-string wand of wonder cast powerful pulsations of rhythm revelations whilst in the hands of Sorceress Solis.
As we meet the fifth musical gate keeper, “L.M.S.Y.C.,” rams you in the mouth full thrash speed ahead. A song that tells the tale of going over to an endearing friend’s house to orally massage a baby-making rooster, it is also the first song on the album where the Gobbling Goddesses show they have smoothed their timing change skills out. The work between Rachel and Mars in the rhythm roots is nearly as good as Mars and Belen when they were a two-piece, with the tonality improvements shinning on all fronts.
Summon the “Crimson Avenger” into what could be argued as the best song on the album. This song has been a beast from its original release back in early twenty-twenty but has since evolved as the ladies’ talents have. Featuring Belen’s first guitar solo work and showing her vocal abilities to be gloriously guttural, the “Crimson Avenger,” has a “Painkiller” vibe while being Death-Thrash at casting core.
The strongest offerings from Ritual Moon are called to the flames next. Beginning with a beautiful beast of musical macabre magnificence manifesting in the form of “Dismal.” A haunting acoustic instrumental opening prayer from Rachel sets the meditative tone. Visions of strolling along a river in the middle of a winter forest, with an audience of bare trees and fallen leaves, comes to the forefront of my imagination. There was a point when Ritual Moon advertised their music as “Black Sabbath Meets Fleetwood Mac.” I had wondered when that concept would come to fruition, and with “Dismal” has done so.
When the instrumental tempo change comes in and the guitars are charged, the drums dropping and the bass beating, the second act of this Symphony of Sorcery feels like a Metallica instrumental. Some of Metallica’s best work was their instrumental pieces, and what Ritual Moon put out here showcased the talents all three ladies have. This is what I felt the band was capable of when I first heard them playing several years ago, and this is NOT what I expected from this release. A pleasant surprise and a musical offering this review Daemon has found most pleasing. So much so, the song is the opening to my writing playlist on iTunes now.
Eb and Flow is how the music goes as the ladies take “Dismal” and smoothly transition into “Divided Paths.” The tempo changes to this song are the highlight. Belen shows some solid solo fills on the guitar, while Mars takes her go to “Thrash Beat” and breaks it up again with off time double bass drum beats that accent her diversity as a drummer. Rachel’s bass playing is the congealed blood between the instruments, uniting the musicianship on “Divided Paths.”
“Transcend” this plane of reality and bang your head to some great riffs, definitive drumming and bass work that shines the horn raising spotlight on Rachel. This is the song that convinced me Belen and Mars made the right choice in adding Rachel to the Coven, and proved me wrong that they would hex their own creative vibe by growing out of a two-piece. Rachel has added more to the musical Magick than just low end at live gigs. She is the rose oil to the musical root work of Ritual Moon, adding power with a precision the band lacked.
“Sadistica” and “Scorched Earth” are killer compilations that have their place on the Ritual Moon Death-Thrash totem, while closing out the album is the Pantera like riff “Predestruction,” another showcase of what the Coven of Creativity is capable of.
With all the improvements on the musicianship from Ritual Moon, the greatest improvements come from the band’s overall flow. The energy is rough yet polished, like that from the greatest thrash band of all time…. SLAYER!!! The next greatest improvement is Belen. Belen sounds comfortable in her vocal work, cutting herself clear of early recordings nervousness. With that comfort has come clarity, and in that clarity the spark of potential for more. There will come a day when Belen opens her voice up more and we hear just how much she can channel Stevie Nicks or Jinx Dawson. Behind the guttural growling is a charismatic enchantress.
Overall, Ritual Moon has reached the status of Death-Thrash Metal High Priestesses with the casting of their self-titled debut. I give Ritual Moon 5 out of 5 raised horns. Check out the album released on January 13th, 2021 and follow the band at the links below.
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