After 8 years of existence, a few self released albums and many live experiences (including phenomenal performances at mighty festivals like Roudburn and Doom Shall Rise), Swiss female Doom band shEver joined TotalRust and provided their strongest album so far. "Rituals" is all about Sludgy Doom Death heaviness . It delivers six aggressive pieces that are filled with distorted riffs, crushing slow melodies, guttural female vocals (deep growls, along with some clean vocals) unique atmosphere and throbbing drum & bass. 50 minutes of DOOM brought to you from the deepest forests of Switzerland… For fans of Mythic, Cathedral, Bloody Panda, Sleep, My Dying Bride… You get the picture.
Metal Storm [8/10]:
This band is called Shever. As in She-ver...'cus it's an all-female group, get it? Clever, eh? I really hope this is some kind of Swiss-to-English language breakdown, and the cheesy pun is merely coincidental, because this death-doom band rips a little too hard to have a gimmick like that going.
While we're still on the subject of this silly band name; gender really doesn't seem to enter the equation while listening to the music. [Insert arbitrary comment about how it's cool that women are participating in a male-dominated form of music here.]
Now that we have that awkward part of the review out of the way, it's down to business; something which Rituals does not do quickly. The first track, "Ritual Of Chaos" sounds like a pretty generic, crunchy death-doom sound. It's not until the latter half of the second track "Delirio" do we see Shever unleash the personality they are capable of showing. It picks up a slightly grooving-sludge dynamic which not only works to make these riffs considerably more memorable, but also a lot darker sounding.
Then things slope off a bit after "Je Suis Nee". The track that follows, "Souls Colliding" is actually effectively dark and dreary...Or it would be, had they condensed things a little bit. In fact, that one track has enough cool little details in it - do I hear violins near the end? - that it may have just been the best track had it not been extended so painfully long.
It really seems like the songs here are presented in the same chronology they were written; begins sub-par (warming up), then peaks (finding their groove), then weakens again (inspiration well starts drying up.) Luckily, the glass is well past half full on Rituals - there's more than enough solid riffs and dark atmosphere on here to justify at least a spin or two.