Ritual marks twenty years since Arizona-based thrash-groove metal band Soulfly’s debut release. As their eleventh …
[untitled] is not the most comfortable of listens, but it is mewithoutYou’s most user friendly record to date.
It is also their heaviest—just not in the way that you would expect. Vocalist Aaron Weiss continues to forge his personal path of self-reflection through verbose, poetic lyrics, and it is this that really brings the heaviness to the record. Sure, there are moments where Weiss yells with the fury of an angry schoolgirl (see: opener, 9:27 am, 7/29), but by and large, there is a shift to a more melancholy, emo sounding murmur.
long-term fans will find an evolution in the band’s sound—one that will still allow LP7 to sit comfortably against mewithoutYou’s back catalogue.
In massive part this sonic assault can also be attributed to the heavy use of rich, layered guitar melodies and free range drumming. Returning to the studio with Will Yip, who also worked on their 2015 effort Pale Horse, almost certainly added to this. Dousing the record with the same level of depth found on releases from Citizen and Circa Survive (both of whom have worked with the producer), makes the record hit that little bit harder than any of the bands previous works.
By mastering a deeper soundscape, the Philly crew really bring a natural sense of order and flow to the LP, tying their twelve tracks together. New fans might find [untitled] to be a pill that’s a little hard to swallow (particularly due to the long-winded and bleak lyrical content), but long-term fans will find an evolution in the band’s sound—one that will still allow LP7 to sit comfortably against mewithoutYou’s back catalogue.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Julia (or, ‘Holy to the LORD’ on the Bells of Horses), Wendy & Betsy, Michael Row Your Boat Ashore
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