Hello, everyone. It’s been a while and after this will be a while more. I will be taking a hiatus from reviews, but, before I enter said hiatus, I have one last review to do. This was requested some time ago and within the last couple of weeks really got the chance to sit down and just listen to it. That way I could give this review as honest and sincere a review as possible. The band in question is The Ritual Aura, which is based out of Western Australia, Japan, USA, as well as Turkey. To give an idea of who they are, they themselves provided their own bio which I will now provide below:
“Technical/progressive death metal collab; The Ritual Aura, return after 3 years with their third full-length (and first independent release) entitled; Velothi, with lore and themes based on The Elder Scrolls mythos.
A 10-track titan of orchestral, prog and jazz-infused death metal – featuring unconventional instruments (viola, erhu, fretless guitar and more – alongside those one might expect of the genre) in a concept-rich environment.
Velothi sees the band expand on the musical framework of their previous releases; Laniakea (2015) and Tæther (2016), not just bridging the gap between both records with some common ground, but with plenty of new and interesting aspects for the new and long-term listener to enjoy.”
As you can see above, they are Tech Progressive Death Metal collaboration that has made a comeback after three years. They present with what would claim to be an evolution in their sound, so to speak, whilst keeping previous elements of past material. Now, being honest, I have no listened to their past material, so regarding that factor, I cannot really say with that part of their music will hit the mark with me. Now, let’s jump in with some points to hit on.
The instrumental work will be our first thing to touch base on. I have to say, giving this a good listen, I agree with the bio that the sound presented is very rich and diverse. Full of different elements of atmosphere that seem to paint a blank canvas as you continue to listen with different emotions and moods conveyed by the tracks. The accompaniment of the additional, as worded, unconventional instruments really adds some extra ambiance and flair to Velothi. To me, it really captures the essence of Elder Scrolls and takes you to a different world altogether. Very well done.
Continuing forward we have the vocals. Now the vocals don’t, at least regarding the growls and such, seem to have too much of a dynamic reinforcing them. The tone and mix of the vocals are stellar, but I feel there was a bit more that could have been attempted with. The choral work though is a nice complimenting touch that really gives some more versatility to the sound provided by the harsh vocal work done. The mixing of the vocals though is good and was enjoyable to listen to.
Overall, the mix as a whole was well done and the album itself was a fun listen that took me down to a trip of various thoughts and feelings guided by each track being played. A journey most enjoyed, to say the least. I am excited by what I heard from this record and now am curious and will more than likely listen to the past tracks. However, I believe another reason I enjoy this is due to it reminding me a lot of the project Xehanort before it was disbanded recently, except that was about Kingdom Hearts/Final Fantasy, and this is for the Elder Scrolls series. Thrilled to see where the future of The Ritual Aura takes itself. A big thank you to the band for reaching out to me, and I’m glad I could finally display my input on the album. Check them out on various social media as well as their music on multiple music streaming services.