Well, unlike the group’s demo, Ritual Severance leans more in a death metal direction than a blackened one. Gone are the traditional raspy vocals and heated atmospheres displayed back in 2012. Instead the vocals snarl with a hint of echo to them buried behind the thick guitars and slightly distant sounding drums on both of the extensive performances. “The Weightless Grip of Fire” comes off bleak and shrouded in night, even having a hint of nordic background in the compositions when not descending into the depths by slowing the pace down such as around seven minutes to make things a little more haunting. Sadly, while the strongest of the two, there’s not much to really consider memorable here, and the same goes for the next cut as well.
“Blighted Ovum” tends to cater to more of an Immolation death metal approach than anything all that blackened. Creepy leads at the start help establish a cryptic vibe that the duo manage to play off nicely thanks to the thunderous bass kicks that take over the performance when not hammering home the blastbeat tinged black metal segments that break up the decrepit atmosphere for no real reason. The massive downfall here, as well as with the previous cut, is the length of the song itself. Here it becomes a patterned, almost predictable repeating jump from fast to slow with only a few mid-tempo sections to throw you off. Had this been cut down and the amount of times you plunge head first into insanity or the shallow end been limited, this would be moderately impressive. By the time you hit three minutes in, you start to lose interest, especially come the second time around.
Truth be told, while Ritual Severance is an alright EP with plenty of moments you’ll find yourself banging your head along to, it just sounds like a huge leap backwards for the band as a whole. While their 2012 demo actually had some solid black metal chops to back up the group’s existence, this new EP just sounds like any underground blackened death metal outfit that throws in some ok doom metal chunks for the heck of it. While the first time through is enjoyable due to not knowing what lies ahead, repeat spins leave you yearning for something a little stronger overall. If the first track didn’t at least offer up some solid black metal segments and a number of sections to bob your head along to, there wouldn’t be much reason to at least sample Ritual Severance.