By Luke Buckler
Unbelievably Bad contributor
Rituals are a new death metal band from Melbourne; and if you like your guitars widdly, your vocals gory, and your kicks doubly, you’re in for a treat.
Formed in the new old-fashioned way of a note left on an online message board, they’ve just released their first song, Benumbed, with imminent plans for more recorded output and more immediate plans to play some shows. Before the end of the year, they will be edging onto some solid lineups featuring the likes of UB favourites Sewercide, Unbound, Black Jesus, and Pissbolt.
Ahead of their first show on November 4, UB caught up with singer/bass player Pierre to get the scoop on what Rituals are all about.
Who’s in the band, and how did you end up playing music together?
Rituals is Joel and Jed on guitars, Wazza on drums and myself (Pierre) on bass and vocals. Upon relocating back to Australia, I put an ad up on a Melbourne musician forum and Joel contacted me as he was starting a 90s Swedish Death Metal inspired band, which is exactly what I was looking for.
The track Benumbed is our first opportunity to hear Rituals, and it sounds tough as. Is there other songs recorded, and when do we get to hear them?
At the moment, only Benumbed has been recorded. However, we should be recording a second song very shortly and are currently planning out our EP, although there is no set date yet. Even though we have about 10 songs, we are presently focusing more on live shows than recording.
What have Rituals got coming up in terms of shows and tours? Have you actually played shows yet?
Our first show will be on 4 November at the Bendigo Hotel along with Misery, Anatomy, Cemetery Urn, Belligerent Intent, and Sewercide. We’ll then play another show at the upstairs room at the Tote, along with Religious Observance and Escarion on 23 November. On 1 December, we’ll play a show at the Yarra Hotel with Unbound from Brisbane, Pissbolt and Black Jesus. We’ll then go and play two shows in Beechworth and Woodonga to join a bill with As Flesh Decays . That’s about it for now.
I’ve only really heard you play in the sludge band ‘Atolah’ before – is death metal a new thing for you?
No it’s not. I began listening to death metal as a kid, probably from 1994. I played in death metal and black metal bands throughout the 90s (Zoophobia, Nevrosis, Devilish Era, Fjalar…). I only got into the slower kind of metal and stoner rock in the late 90s after an overload of traditional extreme metal.
Have the other blokes in the band done projects similar to Rituals before?
Nothing similar but not too far-off either. Wazza previously was in Deströyer 666 and Anatomy. Joel and Jed used to have a black metal project called Nontinuum. Joel’s last band to date is Ash Mouth, which I actually knew before meeting Joel due to their split EP with Unravel.
You spent quite a bit of time outside of Australia over the past few years, where were you? Did you do any bands during your return to the motherland?
I spent the last 6 years in The Netherlands indeed. Not my motherland but a country that is very close to my heart. I did keep Atolah going for a couple of years and we recorded a couple of new songs, which I only recently made available on Bandcamp by the way. I then took a little break before starting a band called Fell with my good friend Seth (ex-Torero and ex-Connoisseur and currently in Gehirn and Lice), who then moved to Hawaii. We released one EP which was recorded on some old analog equipment from the 60s – pretty odd for a grindy/hardcore/dbeat band. We had a lot of fun. I then joined another band called Slavery Farm, which split up after some time. I heard they just reformed though, which is exciting.
Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer – the ‘Big Four’ is contentious and often debated. Who is Rituals’ big four?
Keeping the other guys’ tastes in mind I would say our ‘Big Four’ would be… At the Gates, Death, Edge of Sanity and Carcass.
Chuck Rituals a like on the Facebook to keep abreast of their forthcoming activity.