Dream Ritual – Dream Ritual

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2014 has come and gone and those of us here at Nahhhhh eagerly await all the new music 2015 will bring. However, we have some time to kill before the new releases start coming in, so we have a chance to do a little housekeeping and revisit some of the past year’s most over-looked records. A request came to my attention for Dream Ritual’s new album in December but, otherwise focused on our year-end lists, I was never able to review it in 2014. I finally have the time to come back to it now.

What album is that you might be asking yourself? It’s the self-titled record by a band that goes by the name Dream Ritual. I’ll be honest with you: before this record was brought to my attention, I had never heard of the band. I try to keep an open mind when coming across new music, though, and decided to listen. If there is one thing I have learned by writing for Nahhhhh, it is that patience and openness can turn you on to some real, unknown gold – or you could be sifting through the shit for weeks.

First impressions were admittedly poor. The first song on the record, “Green World,” did not do much for me at all. It is typical mainstream radio fodder. If that’s your thing, cool. Personally, it is not for me. Maybe the band was looking to get the attention of a different spectrum of listeners, but it set some very low expectations for the rest of Dream Ritual.

However, all negative feelings I had for this album were destroyed by track three, “Twenty Five.” The riff is one of the chunkiest, grooviest things I have heard come from a guitar in quite some time. On top of that, I was reminded of Daylight and Basement, who happen to be my favorite band. “Twenty Five” was completely unexpected and a welcome breath of fresh air after my expectations were set so low.

I was equally impressed by the rest of the record. The band’s sound is cohesive, rounded out by the vocal style. Even now as I continue to listen to the album, I find new things that the band does really well. The group’s musicianship is impressive, namely how they can vary the feeling of their songs. As mentioned already, “Twenty Five” is a very upbeat and in-your-face song, yet the band follows it up with “Hamptons,” a more laid-back track that could not feel more opposite from the preceding one. When it comes to writing a good album in this genre, this is paramount: you need to be effective in writing across the whole spectrum of expression.

The only thing keeping me from giving Dream Ritual’s self-titled record a 4 or even a 4.5 is the poor opening song. The opening song should be used the capture the listeners attention. “Green World” fails unequivocally to do so. Fortunately, I didn’t give up on this record after that initial fumble, although other listeners may not be so forgiving. It just goes to show that everyone deserves a second chance.

Rating: 3.5/5



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