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Cardiff, United Kingdom

Credit - Mary Wycherley

The latest single from the experimental dark-pop/post-rock Ritual Cloak is here and it is a swelling emotive embrace for the soul. ‘Shell’ takes Ritual Cloak in a new direction, one that is more serene and subtle. It uses piano and vocals that push themselves to extremes to get the emotion across in the track. Whether Ritual Cloak moves on to adapt even further, or stays here a while and plays with what they can find, I will certainly enjoy what comes of it. The song is dark, deep, pulsing but hopeful. It uses mellow chords with crisp percussion to mould the sound stage around the lyrics which sit bright and clear above it all. If it's a shell that they are trying to create in our minds, then the shell is broken and shattered, the phoenix has already risen.

The song's tone shifts as it goes, it's a real living piece of music. The piano that starts it off feels different, but related, to the piano that ends the song. It's as if the sound progresses spiritually as it goes. Rich tones and deep bass marry the vocals and their subtle melodies, they become one and grow. The percussion starts alone, metallic and harsh, it finds a partner in the synth and they too join, becoming something greater than the sum of its parts. Post-rock has never felt more loving, it has the cold shoulder but it's starting to thaw. Ritual Cloak have pushed major boundaries with ‘Shell’ and I hope to see them push even more.


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