FLORIAN GREY – Ritus
German artist Florian Grey recently released this sophomore record of his through the label Echozone and the result is quite solid and satisfactory. This 12-track effort entitled bearing the cryptic title that is "RITUS" blends dark rock with electro pop and throws a few industrial metal elements into the mix as well. The songs are lofty and lack neither pomp nor colorful textures, and all of them are more or less memorable and easy to digest.
On top of that, "RITUS" has some interesting goth rock undertones and influences to it and even leans towards alternative rock in places, which is to say that there is plenty of variation to the disc with the tunes ranging from hard-hitting and powerful ("Relief" and "Catharsis (Closing Ceremony)") to somewhat mellow and strangely pleasant ("A Cold Days Night" and "Paraphrase"). Having said that, it is not as if "RITUS" is the most introspective or emotionally charged album you will come across this year, and a few cheesy and clichéd elements do sneak into the picture from time to time, but there can be no doubt that Mr. Grey and his talented cohorts poured their hearts into this cool piece of music.
The production lends a slightly clinical and cold touch to the song material, but it kind of works in its favor, so no problems there, really. My main gripe with the disc is that the vocals do not always come across as passionate and lively, but luckily that does not detract too much from the quality of the music. Like I said, the tracks are catchy and the band are giving it their all, so there is no reason why you should not give this one a spin or two should you find yourself craving some synth-driven electro rock with huge choruses and dynamics to it. Songs such as "Bereft" and "My Babylon" are irresistible and the fact that the album as a whole reminds me of "A Deeper Kind of Slumber" and "Judas Christ" by Tiamat in places can only be a good thing.