Rites to Sedition - Ancestral Blood
Self released
Melodic Black Metal
12 songs (72'29")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Alex

Charlotte, NC, Rites to Sedition may be releasing their first album in Ancestral Blood, but they are certainly not shy about playing a lot of material on it. Well over an hour playing time, they also properly label their style as triumphant melodic black metal. Had they missed “triumphant” in the description, I would have felt very much obligated to invoke the word “triumph” in the way Rites to Sedition mix together their blackened melodies and chaos.

At first one would think the band will take a cautious approach, alternating shorter intro like tracks, Advent and The Lunar Approach, with longer compositions. As Ancestral Blood unfolds though, that caution is abandoned and Rites to Sedition go on long winding labyrinthine song assemblies which seemingly never end. Operating mostly at faster speeds in their rhythm section, guitars slide and slither through, often taking on technical death metal flourishes away from the streamlined structures. Vocals by Brian Kingsland begin cold and steely, snake-like originally, but as Ancestral Blood grows on he becomes throatier, the impression possibly coming from the help of backing vocals use. Never becoming epic, symphonic or keyboard overloaded in the sense of theatrical Dimmu Borgir, Ancestral Blood strives to be equal part old and modern school, adding little in terms of towering orchestral arrangements, but focusing more on the guitar work intricacy.

Taking notes about the album or trying to pick a favorite track is difficult with Ancestral Blood. Therein lays its blessing and its curse. If I were to listen to one, almost any one, separately picked track from the album on some sort of compilation I would certainly be intrigued to hear more by the band. Yet, when the whole album comes at you, the tracks run together when you almost physically feel the band’s efforts to have them stand apart. And the more they are trying the more the songs blend. There is no low point on Ancestral Blood, but there are no standout culmination tracks or moments either that I could remember. Monumental The Golden Aeon of Saturnia is probably supposed to be that track, but I stumbled to it practically tired from mach speed, same all the time, and when The Golden Aeon of Saturnia itself lasted in excess of 11 min, it also diluted the impact. Closing bonus track repeating the riffs endlessly is another perfect example that could have been safely left off from the recording.

I have nothing bad to say about the style or technical ability of Rites to Sedition, although I hope the second time around the band either hires a full time editor or bring scissors with them to the cutting room floor.

Killing Songs :
The Golden Aeon of Saturnia
Alex quoted 65 / 100
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