Adoration Destroyed - Ritual Damage
It is kind of hard to pinpoint Adoration Destroyed's sound considering they take staples from multiple genres across the board. The vocals tend to come off as if they were coming from a soft industrial rock song much like Marilyn Manson, the synths build walls of noise coming off like a grimy darkwave act, and the drums sounds as if they belong in a standard rock song. It's weird but like a lot of electronic bands that experiment they manage to make it all work decently enough.
Adoration Destroyed was founded by Erik Gustafson who is most renown for his role as 16volt's guitarist. With this new project he has taken a step up front and is handling all creation; he controls the synths, the music, vocals, and lyrics. He does get support live from Eirik Ashe on drums and Jon Gilyeat on bass, but for the most part Adoration Destroyed is his own monster. Earlier in the year Gustafson had released the Carnal Dirge single via Cleopatra Records teasing this album, which featured the title track, a B-side track, and a remix from Cynical Existence of 'In Elegant Decay'. Now that it's later in the year, Adoration Destroyed is here with their debut album Ritual Damage.
If you're a fan of the vocals on the starting track 'Here To Bleed' then you're in luck as the vocals hardly change throughout the entire album. They're usually the same, almost spoken word voice from Gustafson. I always find it redundant to have the same vocal styling from song to song as I want to hear a different range from musicians in what they're doing. That's why when 'Nothing Left' rolled around I was quite happy. While the vocals don't change around from the Adoration Destroyed camp, the addition of Cynical Existence's angry, aggrotech chords was more than welcome.
The pinnacle performance on the album comes in the form of 'In Elegant Decay' where a light EBM rhythm flows through the song with slamming drums and various other electronic oddballs thrown in the mix. It's a powerful song and one of the most well done tracks on the album. That, and the sound of this track differed from the rest. I felt as if the synths in a lot of the other songs sounded too similar, and in such a case I did not find reason to return to some of the songs.
Another reason I mentioned Manson earlier is because Adoration Destroyed did a cover of their track 'Coma White'. While the song does not come anywhere near close to the originality or excellence of Manson's canon piece, the cover does at least showcase where Adoration Destroyed's influence comes from.
After the album is finished playing out you'll receive two remixes. The first is a remix of 'Here to Bleed' done by 16volt and it's a bit of an oddity. The track has ambient textures and plays like a fairly upbeat track to a steampunk world. There is some grime in it as well as static, but this was well done. Weird, but well done. The other remix is done by Mr.Kitty for 'In Elegant Decay' and it turned out to be one of the best tracks on the album. Mr.Kitty just did what he does best; he turned the track around into a dreampop masterpiece with soft pads, great synths, and electronically effected vocals. Wonderfully done as usual.
The ambition within Adoration Destroyed is huge and it doesn't take a man with wide open eyes to see that. They have their influences in place and are trying to make a go at something unique. They have the works to do so as it is as I can't quite point out another band whose sound they are mocking. Electronically speaking, I think Adoration Destroyed does need to expand their sound and get more refreshing pieces within their repertoire. The vocals are decent, but hearing the same style throughout a whole album can get boring and tedious; experiment with that. I will give praise to the drum work on the album; whenever they're present they hit hard and kind of make me want to dance.
However, this is a decent debut and there are a couple of tracks that can be picked from the bunch as favorites on a playlist, such as 'Nothing Left', 'In Elegant Decay', and the Mr.Kitty Remix of 'In Elegant Decay'. Go give it a listen.
Oct 20 2016
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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