Posted by RingMaster on September 14, 2012
There has been some impressive doom and heavily weighted sludge driven releases this year and
right up there with them is the storm of sonic destruction Rituals from Swizz metalers shEvers. The
six track album is colossal, a tempest of death spawn tar thick doom aggression to consume and
erode the senses.
Formed in 2003 by guitarist Jessie and original drummer Melanie, with bassist Nadine joining soon
after and vocalist Alex the following year, the all girl band unleashed their first demo The Mirror in
2004 as well as playing numerous shows across Switzerland including a show with Place Of Skulls.
Two years later their debut album Ocean Of Illusions was unleashed with the current line-up coming
together with Sarah replacing Melanie on drums in 2007. Across the years the witches of venom have
played with bands such as Jex Thoth, Esoteric, Amenra, Saturnus, Ahab, Esoteric, and Obelyskkh,
successfully played many festivals, and released the well received EP, A Dialogue With The
Dimensions in 2009.
The band recorded Rituals in 2011 with its CD release this year coming through Total Rust, the label
having already approached the band about releasing their debut at the time though it never came to
be, and Svart Records for the vinyl release. It is a consumptive assault of tempestuous sounds and
oppressive shadows which envelope and smothers the senses mercilessly and constantly. The
sounds overwhelm and constrict the air sucking its energy into the malevolent mire of intense and
thick ravenous energy. It is not all death and decaying shadows though as the band infuse squealing
and incendiary sonics throughout to ignite the passions fully.
The opening Ritual Of Chaos is a crawling hateful slab of metal, its haunting atmosphere spliced with
intrusive insanity enforced by the excellent rabid bestial vocals of Alex. It is sinisterly tense and
dramatic, the riffs towering and their crushing presence impossible to defend against, though why
one would want to avoid such a compulsive and welcome violation that the band lay upon their
victims is unimaginable.
The outstanding and best track on the album Delirio feasts next with its equally suffocating ambient
mass and provocatively engaging melodic charms. The song is beauty in its every form, the decayed
breath and deathly atmosphere as glorious as the synapse burning sonic imagination and hungry
predatory basslines. As with the majority of the album everything comes at a lumbering dragging
pace and intensity but the effect is a mesmeric trance inducing weave though the meditative result is
of nightmares rather than splendour. The song evolves into a delicious sludge riot for its climax to
again unveil the strong invention and imagination of the band.
The following tracks like the hypnotic bruising that is Je Suis Nee and the stunning Souls Colliding
with its plunging disturbed soundscape simply leave one in total absorbed bliss, suffering at times
but welcoming every intrusive manipulation and caustic rub. The second of this pair really is majestic,
the merging of the blackest pit and strongest sun a perfectly merged clash of extremes.
shEver – rituals
The Ringmaster Review
Closing with the almost grunge fuelled sludgefest of (You Are) The Mirror and the punishing crawl
that is That He Na Te, the album is an immense and fully satisfying violation upon the senses. Rituals
is one of the best genre releases to eat the senses this year whilst placing shEver as one of the prime