Review Summary: Massive Attack's triumphant return.
After 2010's moderately well received Heligoland
, trip hop legends Massive Attack took quite a bit of time off before making a comeback. The British duo has a very busy year ahead of them, however, and we shouldn't have to wait long to hear a new full-length release. In the meantime, fans are treated with a short, memorable and maybe surprisingly excellent EP. Notorious for bringing Tricky back to collaborating with the band for the first time since 1994, Ritual Spirit
should give everyone a reason to look forward to what Massive Attack is still gearing up to do in 2016.
From the very beginning, Ritual Spirit
is pretty much to the point, and it's all the better for it. The prominent bassline compliments Roots Manuva's appearance on opening track "Dead Editors" extremely well, and propelled by a stunning beat he has one of the most impressive performances here. Azekel doesn't fall behind, delivering on a standout title track. The eerie guitar tone blends in alongside his falsetto and the droning synths in the back almost effortlessly, creating an all around great tune. However, it's Tricky who takes center stage here, and for no lack of reason. His return to Massive Attack is more than enough reason to celebrate, and his haunting raspy vocals on the somber piano-led "Take It There" make for a perfect way to close out this short and strong EP.
If there was ever any doubt, this group still has an enormous talent. They still sound fresh, innovative and exciting as they did 25 years ago, and this EP further emphasizes that. Fans can invest safely, as there's not a single bad track here, in fact they're all remarkably great. There's said to be more to come from the duo in the spring, and if there was ever any lack of encouragement to keep up with Massive Attack in 2016, Ritual Spirit
just proved you wrong.