This is the debut EP from New Zealand metal band Infinity Ritual.
Infinity Ritual play a groovy metallic brand of doom and stoner, and this EP features four tracks of material with a total duration of 23 minutes.
I’m Gone opens the EP, and is by far the shortest track. As a statement of intent it reveals a stoner metal character, full of rolling groove and riffs. The vocals remind me of the singer of Cave In in places, and someone else I maddeningly can’t recall in others. Harsher backing vocals are also used. It’s a decent song and starts us off nicely.
Magic 8 follows at double the length, allowing the band to expand on their doom elements and also inject a psychedelic side into the music. I can hear a Black Sabbath influence, and the song bubbles away for almost three minutes with confidence and a familiar charisma, bolstered by subtle use of mellotron and a groovy atmosphere. The song then spends about two minutes fast and riffy, (my least favourite part of the song), before settling back into a mellotron-enriched doomgroove that’s very enticing. Nice.
Underneath is up next, and starts with an emotive and melodic main doom riff that I really like. The band then continue this high quality riffery and general good songwriting throughout the rest of the song. It’s heavier than the proceeding two songs, and much more sludgy in delivery, while also retaining a moody, emotive side that’s very compelling. This is the best song here. If Infinity Ritual can write an album full of tracks like this they’ll be unstoppable.
The EP closes with Berzerker, which is my second favourite cut after Underneath. It has a progressive feel to it that I like. I should also say that the vocals on both Berzerker and Underneath are superior to the ones on the first two tracks; while not bad by any means on I’m Gone and Magic 8, they simply sound more confidently-delivered and strong on the last two songs.
So, an EP of two sides. The first two songs are good and show a lot of promise, while the second two songs are significantly stronger and demonstrate a band with more of an identity of their own and a much clearer sense of songwriting. I don’t know if this is for a specific reason or not,(are the first two older songs, for example?), but if Infinity Ritual can consolidate the strengths of the final two songs into a full length and keep the quality levels this high, we could have something very special on our hands here.
Check this out.