Tempus Fugit/InSideOut
Release date: January 23, 2006

User Review
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Since forming in 1993, Swedish quartet Ritual has released only 3 studio albums, out of which their eponymous debut album (1995) is often regarded a “candid classic.” As a part of celebrating their first decade together in 2003, a European tour was planned, and along with it recordings for a live album. The intention was to capture their live presence, as well as to take a look back at past times and the music made. This plan resulted in the double CD Live.

The Music

With majority of the band originating in the 1980’s experimental band Bröd, Ritual has evolved with each of their albums. Their Folk & Ethnic-inspired experimental Rock has matured, and a heavier, perhaps more Progressive expression has taken shape … an among some of their wilder moments, there are moments of serenity and spellbinding poetry.

Live truthfully presents Ritual. The song selection should please most fans. It’s also a good selection for the novice, as it reflects the diversity in Ritual’s songwriting and performance. Among several highlights here, “Once The Tree Would Bloom,” “Moomin Took My Head Away,” “Solitary Man,” “Mother You’ve Been Gone For Much Too Long,” and “Seasong For Moomin Pappa” are worth a particular remark. These songs prove perhaps more than any other the greatness of Ritual, and help explaining the devotion and loyalty among their fans.

The Band

The chemistry in Ritual is obvious and perhaps even more on Live than on their studio efforts (unless you’ve seen them live). Although Patrik Lundström’s voice receives a lot of attention, they all make crucially vital contributions to the sound and the emotion each song represents … from Fredrik Lindqvist’s almost soaring bass-lines, via Jon Gamble’s often subtle keyboard, to Johan Nordgren’s dynamic drumming, and also Patrik Lundström’s versatile guitar work. There is much truth in the claim that Ritual appears as one entity.

If having to pick at anything, it would have to be the production quality (or probably recording), which has left vocals with a slightly nasal sound. Other than that, the sound is above average for what you would expect from a live recording.

The Verdict

Live is a gateway to Ritual for everybody. Their unique blend of inspirations might take a few spins getting used to for the beginner, but it’s worth it. For the fans, this is a most welcome wrap up of the Ritual story to date.


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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