For the second time Ritual festival is taking place in Leeds, 7-8 April. This novel platform for underground bands has plenty on offer for anyone with an ear for the extreme. The party starts with a Friday night pre-show featuring Akercocke, Fen, The Infernal Sea and Sathamel.
Akercocke is my personal favourite of the night. Over the years this British extreme metal band (playing since 1997) has become hard to pigeonhole. Heavy riffs combined with solos, impressive range of vocal styles make their sound unique. After a leave of absence 2012-2016, I am extremely curious what the four-piece will put on the plate at Ritual.
Saturday will welcome us with All Pigs Must Die, Bossk, Serpent Venom, Kurokuma, Conjurer and many more. Americans All Pigs Must Die is a legit supergroup (members drawn from Hope Conspiracy, Bloodhorse and Converge). Delivering brutally metallic hardcore, All Pigs Must Die is simply vicious. Screaming their guts out for more than 7 years, APMD cannot be missed.
Bossk don’t need an introduction. Britons are well known for gracefully blending atmospheric post-rock with harsh vocals and sludge riffs. This autumn Bossk celebrated their tenth anniversary in Damnation (Leeds) and absolutely nailed it. While many post-rock/post-metal bands sound similar to me, Bossk will be engraved in your memory for their passionate performance and refined sound.
Londoners Serpent Venom will make your feet move and head bang. Earthy, slow melodies created by clean vocals, sorrowful riffs spiced up with some psychedelic guitars takes doom metal elsewhere. The band is compared to Electric Wizard and YOB. I don’t think I need to say more.
Kurokuma’s facebook about page describes them as “the crushing weight of a world ending, a desolate hallucinatory trip through dystopia” and I could not word it better. The sludge band from Sheffield will surprise you with their spacious psychedelic groovy riffs combined and pulsing tribal drumming. The band shared stages with the all mighty Samothrace, Conan and certainly will make some waves in Ritual festival.
Conjurer won’t be an unheard name to some, but being a relatively new band, I am extremely grateful to the promoters for bringing this post-sludge gem from Midlands to Ritual. Big sludge/hardcore riffs, slow to fast tempo and aggression the band transmits won’t leave you hesitating. Dynamics, varying vocal styles and pummelling drums are both refreshing and captivating.
There is really something for everyone this year at Ritual. Don’t miss a chance to see so many great bands for the small fee of £30 (!!!). Grab your ticket here and join us in Leeds in the celebration of underground metal scene!