Review by Vladimir on February 16, 2023.
If you are familiar with the YouTuber and musician Boris Behara, otherwise known as BorisT, you are probably well aware of his black metal band Tryglav. Many people were waiting for Tryglav’s second album ever since it was announced, but a lot of personal and technical difficulties arose in the meantime, including the search for a new vocalist who was to replace Cain Cressall aka Morbid, the singer on the first album Night Of Whispering Souls. Although there was some word of Morbid’s return for the second album, however in the end it seems that he wasn’t interested which made him decide not to make a comeback and therefore a new vocalist Callum Wright had stepped in as replacement. There was obviously nothing that could prevent this album from being finished and released for all the world to hear, especially with all that trouble. Finally, the second album The Ritual has been released and the hype was really big for this one. Was it worth the hype? Let’s find out!
The album starts with the self-titled track 'The Ritual', which I believe sounds familiar to many people who have heard some bits and pieces of its instrumental version in many of BorisT videos, with the same rule applying for the sixth track 'The Vision', except for a slight change in the drumming and the addition of vocals and a beautiful female singing in the end. The track starts with Tryglav’s signature melodic riffing, mid-tempo, double-bass and thrash metal drumming with shouting fry vocals. The second track 'The Evocation' is mostly mid-tempo riffing and drumming which switches to double-bass on some occasions. The third track 'The Plague' is where blast beats finally make an appearance beside all the double-bass and mid-tempo drumming, going for that Dark Funeral approach which is what I think what most fans were eager to hear. I must say that there were some definite improvements over the first album in terms of execution, but with some flaws here and there which I’ll get to later. What I think separates this album from the previous one is the change of concept, whereas Night Of Whispering Souls had various oldschool horror movie influences, the second album seems to be more based on themes of occult rituals, plagues etc. The cover art fits with the album’s themes and its visual representation seems to have taken inspiration from some of Dark Funeral’s albums such as "The Secrets Of The Black Arts", "Where Shadows Forever Reign" and "We Are The Apocalypse". Not necessarily a bad thing, but the blue tone and satanic/occult style somewhat tells you exactly what was one if not the main influence for Tryglav’s music. The vocals fit much better with the music; Callum Wright did a good job to keep everything by the book all the way through from the first to the final track. The only thing that pinches me a bit is that it’s quite noticeable from the personal perspective that Callum Wright comes from a metalcore/deathcore vocal background, especially if you pay close attention to his fry vocal technique. Although usually I am not particularly a fan of such vocals, in my opinion they work far better than Morbid’s metalcore-like guttural vocals on the previous album which were a bit off and didn’t go too well with the music. As I have mentioned, there are some flaws here and there that I think should be addressed, starting with titles of each track on the album. Although the song titles are quite simple and memorable, what bothers me is that every track on this album has a very simplistic approach and the fact that every title starts with the article “The” before each word, similarly to that of Dimmu Borgir’s album "In Sorte Diaboli", which personally makes it a bit difficult for each song to be distinct. Another flaw I want to point out is the fact that even beside all the riffs, melodies, blast beats, a lot of tracks have some average songwriting and lack memorable moments that really help the songs stand out, other than a few riffs and melodies that manage to capture the listener’s attention. Apart from these flaws, tracks such as 'The Ritual', 'The Evocation', 'The Vision' have their enjoyable moments and are probably the personal highlights of this album. As for the album’s production, the vocal mix is pretty good although the vocals could have been a bit louder in my opinion, the guitar sound is solid and the drums are quite precise and don’t undermine everything like many modern albums tend to do.
The final verdict is that this album is far from a masterpiece and it certainly doesn’t go with its fair share of flaws, but I think it’s undeniable that there were improvements made in comparison to Tryglav’s previous work. Judging by the reaction of fans, it was definitely worth the wait for many people that waited patiently for 3-4 years and have finally got the chance to hear it, whereas for myself I was at least glad to see it happen after all the fuckery that has been going on. I seem to have mixed feelings about The Ritual but in the end, I can’t deny that the aforementioned tracks didn’t captivate me to some extent. With all the recent hype surrounding Tryglav, I can definitely tell that there will be a lot more in the future, perhaps even gigs with live/session members which will hopefully happen when Boris moves to Norway and finds suitable members to join the ritual.
Rating: 7.7 out of 10900