Aug 2022 12

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Justin Hagberg and Ash Pearson have already forged an excellent musical partnership in such bands as Revocation and 3 Inches of Blood, so it was perhaps no surprise that their debut as Ritual Dictates, 2020’s Give in to Despair saw the pair continuing to push the boundaries of their metal roots into more experimental territory. Now, the band is pursuing even more gothic avenues on the forthcoming No Great Loss, with the sardonically titled “Goth and Exhausted” serving as the new album’s first single; contrary to its gloomier ambience and subject matter, Hagberg calls the song “without a doubt the most I’ve ever had writing lyrics,” having co-penned them with his wife in the midst of the depression of the pandemic. “What started as merely conjuring some light amid the darkness ended with the both of us in absolute fucking hysterics,” with the choral refrain of “I need something to make me feel alive again” resonating quite palpably, complete with some vibrant keyboard and saxophone solos to augment the song’s strangely anthemic and almost psychedelic vibe. No Great Loss is due for release on October 7 via Artoffact Records in digital, CD, and clear vinyl formats; the album can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp, where the opening track, “Burn the Widow” can be preview streamed.



Ritual Dictates
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Artoffact Records
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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