Starting out in 2011 under the name Obscenium and releasing a quite tasty single, Ectoplasm, Perth tech/prog/death combo, The Ritual Aura, prove that sometimes people do indeed judge books by covers (or bands by names). Obscenium—in this writer’s opinion—is an excellent name, but does conjure up an image of brutal death metal. But the name change reflects the band’s sound currently.
Mixing brutal/technical death metal with prog-style time signatures, bizarre and otherworldly lyrical themes, and eerie soundscapes makes for an exciting new path to forge on debut full length, Laniakea. Second album, Tæther (due for release on November 11), sees the band explore all those sounds more fully over 17 tracks.
The pedigree of the band’s past is second to none; members having served time in some of Perth’s best underground acts like Depravity, Khariot and The Alchemont to name a few—meaning the songwriting is laser sharp: technical and heavy, yet not oppressive. Of the three tracks publicly shared so far, Ghostgate is super heavy, yet very catchy. The odd sounding piano and strings really stand out and complement the guitars well.
The addition of occasional vocoder effects to the vocals adds to the alien atmosphere; it will be very interesting to see what the band can do over 17 tracks as the three presented so far has achieved more than most band’s can do over an entire album. Can't wait!
Scott Bishop is a regular host on RTR FM 92.1's Critical Mass, which airs every Wednesday from 9PM (GMT+8) in Perth, Australia.