If you like your death metal fast-paced with limited vocals and intricate guitar work then THE RITUAL AURA’S newest masterpiece Laniakea is the album for you and is available now via Lacerated Enemy Records. Hailing from Perth, Western Australia, this quartet takes technical death metal and adds a progressive twist to it. Think DREAM THEATER meets ARSIS with a hint of early CYNIC throw in for good measure.
Clocking in at just over 25 minutes, this nine-track disc offers a lot for the short amount of time it takes up. Starting off with “Mythos Of Sojourn” giving listeners one minute of calm before the storm that takes place with second track “Ectoplasm” and continues throughout the rest of the record. To me what sets these gentlemen aside from the rest of the bands in the Tech Death genre are the random guitar interludes laced throughout the tracks and the amount of vocals that are in the songs. Vocalist Jamie Kay offers really intelligible vocals for what little he is actually featured on the album. Switching between clean vocals and death growls he ensures you can understand a good 90 percent of his vocals although they’re only featured on about 40 percent of the album.
This band is brilliant in their approach to death metal, doing about 60 to 70 percent music with 30 to 40 percent vocals. Guitar/Vocoder player Levi Dale gives the listeners a clinic in guitar playing. He could easily be Australia’s answer to the U.S’s John Petrucci of DREAM THEATER. Bassist Darren Joy and drummer Adam Giangiordano really give this album a massive low end filled with down tuned bass and crazy blast beats from the drums. Even though this masterpiece is technically nine tracks only six of them are actual songs with lyrics, while the other three serve as interludes to the technical death madness that follows.
Album closer and title track “Laniakea” offers a great piano driven ending to the disc as to give the listeners eardrums a break from the beating they just took while listening to everything before it. My only true complaints are its length or lack thereof and the lack of overall vocals from Jamie Key whose skills are nothing short of impressive. Otherwise, an excellent effort from THE RITUAL AURA!
STANDOUT TRACKS “Era Of The Xenopath” “Ectoplasm”, “Erased In The Purge”