Ravage Ritual was born in the autumn of 2011, and it wasn't much later when the band released their first demo. This five-track EP followed its trail in the July of 2012. The band's near future will bring a split-12" with the Spanish band Teething and a tape-version of this EP, so, based on the steady flow of new releases, the group is in a good groove.
Revival opens up with a really dark and metallic intro which focuses on pounding a single note for one and a half minutes, after which the song really comes to life through some simple bass-notes, ominous drumming and tortured vocals. If one doesn't count the song's too long beginning, "Sakramentti" serves as a really pleasing and suitable mood-setter.
"Sakramentti" is followed by the two-minutes long metallic and blackened hardcore punk-songs "Perfect Heart" and "Black Chord." They both rely on the ominous and black darkness of the atmosphere, and the songs' somewhat stuffed and heavy sound. Structurally they range from hardcore punk's straightforward traditions to somewhere in the realms of overtly fast black/death metal, with some slower and darkly melodic moments used to balance the paces. Song four continues in the similar vein of mixturing hc and darker genres of metal, with its last minute representing almost pure sludge.
The last song, which, for me, was the most memorable cut from the EP, is a six minutes long piece of mid-paced metallic punk which takes a deep bow to the pioneers of mixing crust, sludge and almost depressively dark atmospheres. It varies nicely through its length, and unlike on the earlier tunes, the soundscape doesn't sound as stuffed but instead offers the strings and drums a good amount of room to breathe and move in.
Aside of the above mentioned sound-problems making the songs seem a bit stuffed and eating away the otherwise strong (albeit occasionally too tradition-reliant) riffing's strengths and impact, the EP is a fairly promising one. Ravage Ritual handles everything from the tortured punk-aggression to metal's technicality and darkened moods with pious zeal and an original attitude. The problem lies with the songs lacking impact and the hooks that would keep the listeners nailed to their chairs until the EP's over and demands a re-play. A rawer and sharper sound might already do wonders to the band's sound, as now the guitars and drums sound clear but slightly too neat and tidy.
Despite all the complaints, the band's concept doesn't really need a lot of adjusting to become way more effective - and the songs, at their best, sound like the kind that cause an instant moshpit when played live.