Bestialis – Ritus (Review)

Bestialis - RitusThis is the debut EP from German black metallers Bestialis.

Ritus provides 17 minutes of black metal, and serves as a good introduction to the nefarious talents of Bestialis. The band’s style is rooted in traditional black metal, but also contains elements of more modern styles too. As a very rough overview of their sound; Bestialis remind me of a sort of hybrid mix of classic bands such as Dark Funeral and Mayhem, along with elements of more modern acts. Some of the band’s non-standard elements remind me of Thy Worshiper in places.

Incensio (Prelude) opens the EP with an acoustic-led piece that introduces heavier guitars to produce an atmospheric introduction. It’s a decent opening piece that sounds like it has been inspired by one of the classic thrash metal titans of the 80s.

After this, Re-Incantation bursts out of the speakers with a classic blast of blackened fury, before demonstrating the band’s able grasp of melody. I particularly enjoy the singer’s old-school vocals. He has a fine voice for this sort of music, and offers a diverse delivery across the EP as a whole. As the song progresses it becomes increasingly atmospheric, before ending as it started, only with more of an epic feel. Re-Incantation is well-written and it is abundantly clear that Bestialis are skilled at what they do.

Ur-Veneration has a similar feel to Re-Incantation, full of melodic darkness and well-performed vocals. It’s not a repeat of the previous track though, and introduces a few different ideas into the mix, with acoustic guitars, bass, and folk elements all getting their chance to shine, albeit briefly. I like the band’s approach of essentially writing traditional black metal, and then spicing it up with various other elements and influences.

The EP closes with Non-Domestication: Fall of Gilgamesh. Starting us off with a brief tribal intro, the song quickly becomes a chunky mid-paced affair, with atypical blackened riffs and engaging vocals. Before too long a rolling melody appears, and some of the band’s thrash influences can be heard once more. It is another very strong track that’s unmistakably old-school in origin, yet feels very contemporary in delivery.

I hope we get a full length album from Bestialis soon, as Ritus is one Hell of a way to start a career.

Very highly recommended.

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