Album Review

Solo Andata – Ritual (Desire Path, 2010)


Solo AndataCarving

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You’ve no doubt seen plenty reviews and heard quite a bit of well deserved praise for Solo Andata’s new LP on Desire Path. And that kind of popularity is just the sort of thing I tend to shy away from at AGB. But you know what? Fuck it. Ritual is too goddamn good to pass up here.

These two dudes have made a seriously creepy fucking record. Granted, when you have an album called Ritual and you make some cover art like that up there, I suppose it’s to be expected. But still. There’s some weird shit going on here. The opening track is all cicadas and nighttime forest field recordings, setting the tone of wandering alone in the middle of nowhere hearing specters & haunted wind. It’s eerie as fuck, the kind of sounds that if I were to hear alone in the woods, regardless if the sun was up, I would immediately call the cops and start walking in the opposite direction.

The rest of the album is what would happen if you kept walking towards those sounds. You’d stumble upon a cloaked cult doing all sorts of crazy pagan shit, chanting while making crystal bowls sing and tearing out goat hearts to make goat heart stew for the black demons. The sounds they conjure are an anti-harmony ambience, an avant neo classical horror à la Eyes Wide Shut. Bubbling organics, rotting flesh, golden gongs, slowing heartbeats, piercing bowed cymbals, echoing footsteps, floating lights, shuffling dry leaves, a general hushed dread that’s utterly inescapable.

Strangely enough, despite the ominous nature of Ritual, it’s a very pleasurable listen. Yeah, it’s a bit nightmarish, but in a really beautiful way. Half doom, half chill ambient, with a solid drone core, it’s impossible to go wrong. Solo Andata “effing killed it” with Ritual, most likely in both the literal & metaphorical sense. You seriously want to pick this sweet piece up. Too bad you already missed out on the $600 edition.