Grief Ritual’s currently available debut EP Life is a Phase socks the listener in the gut whether they’re ready for it or not. The five tracks pack some truly brutal hardcore that veers into sonically unique territory without losing any of its impact. For example, the band incorporate some harsher elements like blast beats reminiscent of certain strains of extreme metal, giving their tunes a blackened, dark vibe. Ultimately, these elements circulate around a core of relatively straightforward hardcore that feels powerful because it’s allowed to roam and grow freely, so to speak. The band concentrate on the foundation of their craft and present truly blasting and memorable riffs that flow into one another and leave the listener spinning.
Ultimately, all of the flourishes Grief Ritual include in their music feel like they’re contributing to their new EP’s punch. The release busts through the barrier separating us from pain and all its associates, leaving what had previously been hidden spilling out into the open. Getting more into the thematic and emotional feel, the songs feel like a shot in the arm, jolting the listener awake — only somewhat figuratively speaking. The release serves to point the listener the right direction, be that through forcing them to confront their fears and demons or whatever else. It’s like a sonic intervention.
The band’s vocalist shares some of these brutal developments in his lyrics, but that’s not the only place Life is a Phase gets its punch from. Grief Ritual feel as though they’ve quite effectively synthesized their thematic and musical presentations, truly focusing their energy and thereby making their work all the better. Just like the harsh and punishing vocal work, the band’s music serves up feelings of loss and brokenness, taking the listener along for the ride like they’re a ghost of their past, present, or future.
At times, the musical undertaking feels quite personal for the band members, but at the same time, there are plenty of places for the earnest listener to latch on and not get left out. Grief Ritual have avoided a number of possible pitfalls with their music already, poising them for a great path wherever they go from here.
Listen below via Bandcamp