Fire! Orchestra
Ritual


4.0
excellent

Review

by Finn Baker USER (43 Reviews)
September 1st, 2017 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I have no idea what is going on.

At first, it's an unassuming listen. Despite not wasting any seconds getting into the meat of the record, and some lyrics can be somewhat confounding ("Does not fear the terrors of tomorrow and tomorrow") Ritual starts out like a decent jazz fusion album. It sounds full, with attention to detail in every instrument. There are two singers that are either competing or working together to deliver their lines in a haunting manner.

The point where things take a turn onto new ground is at the four-minute mark of Track 1, where both singers start reaching up to an impressively high register. They're no longer singing; they're howling. This kind of animalistic nature is very prominent throughout the whole album. Cryptic words are sung with seemingly no desire to stay on rhythm. The voices go from growls to shrieks like the performers don't know what the word 'subtle' means. As these singers take the lead, the song gradually speeds up. Everything gets louder and implodes into itself to create a mess of noise that barely holds itself together. Yet this is still some of the tamer material on Ritual.

Track 2 takes more of its precious time getting started. The very first sound is some sort of odd saxophone technique I've never heard before. It sounds like it's being plucked, even though I know it's impossible to pluck a saxophone like it has strings. It develops a mind of its own, like a parrot mimicking the cadences of the human voice. The entire orchestra revolves around a very difficult motif. Around this time, it becomes clear what Fire! Orchestra is trying to do. They want to take the concept of jazz by its collar, and strangle it until it's inches from death. The first half of Track 3 is likely the most intense example. Guitars are distorted long past the point of recognition, and one vocal performer legitimately sounds like she's having serious convulsions. It's unclear whether she's in pain, crying, or having an orgasm. She sounds just as scared as the listener.

I didn't realize until Track 5, the final piece, how the vast majority of the sounds on Ritual sound organic. At the very least, they sound human. It isn't until the last track that very obvious digital manipulation is used. This is how the band set themselves apart from other acts in the same field, like Niechec. Although Niechec is still incredible at what they do, they don't mind using a healthy amount of post-production to twist their sounds just right. Fire! Orchestra are doing that in their music without the help of so much editing. It's honestly shocking, how well every member is able to express themselves perfectly.

This is one of those occasions where the music is simultaneously frightful and appealing. Controlled chaos seems to be present even on the album cover, with its disjointed animals facing every direction, but still all being connected with a thin membrane. Nearly every minute of the album could not be adequately described unless you used words like 'insane', 'hysterical' or even 'unhinged'. It all sounds very good, even though it's arguably more explosive than it is beautiful. But it begs to be reheard. It's still a remarkable piece of music, and it should garner fans from the worlds of jazz and avant-garde alike.



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user ratings (61)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Asdfp277
September 1st 2017


23788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i remember this album being fun

Tyler.
September 2nd 2017


18750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good band

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Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2017


28223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Incredible album

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TVC15
September 2nd 2017


11125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have no idea what is going on. [2]



greg84
Emeritus
September 2nd 2017


7651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

an awesome album for sure

Digging: Sasquatch - Fever Fantasy

cylinder
September 3rd 2017


1542 Comments


Nice review, album rules ofc. A slight step down from Enter!, but it's got plenty of its own goodies

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cylinder
September 3rd 2017


1542 Comments


Also forgot how much I love the cover

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2020


11437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this good

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2020


28223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Check Arrival too Dedex, it's amazing.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2020


11437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Already checked that one a month ago, I was blown away so I decided to give the discog a go. Very cool band.



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