†‡† Witch House Ritualz Ritualz is often revered as being one of the many pioneers within the witch house genre; in the late 2000's, when the genre began taking off did JC Lobo AKA Ritualz begin his musical conquest. This led to the release of his debut EP "†‡†", also called "CDR". Following the success of his debut EP with fans praising his style and persona, Ritualz continued his journey. He self-released the "Ghetto Ass Witch" EP in 2011 while also releasing a versus EP with Fostercare on Robot Elephant Records. After another EP "Hypermotion X", Ritualz began his own record label called Maligna which saw his anthology collection "Outworld Music" released in 2014. After a full length album "Doom" came out on Artoffact Records and a release on his own label "Häxan" in 2020, 2021 sees Ritualz going back to roots by collaborating with Re:Mission Entertainment. The EP that started it all "†‡†" has been remastered and will be released on June 25th, 2021 via the record label. The idea of a re-issue or a remaster might possibly baffle some, but I have always been for them. Especially in cases of "†‡†", where the original limited edition CDR has been sold out for the longest time. I mean, c'mon, ten years is a long time for an album to be out. From an independent producer's standpoint, it only makes sense that the CDR would be sold out by now. Ten years is also a long time to amass a brand new fanbase, and those fans are probably hungry to have a physical copy of every single Ritualz release. Remasters and re-issues offer fans the opportunity to complete their collection or, at the very least, add to it. And, judging by the pre-order listings for "†‡†" on the Re:Mission Entertainment Bandcamp page, Ritualz' followers are more than eager for this record to be released.Getting into the review portion, then, what you receive on this album is a remastered edition of "†‡†" featuring the eight original tracks. I am impressed with what Re:Mission Entertainment has been able to provide with this remastered album. I will sometimes receive a remastered promotion, but when comparing the remastered version to the canon there is hardly a difference. That is not the case with "†‡†". I went back and forth between the version available on Ritualz' Bandcamp page and the new, revamped tracks and found clarity in once foggy tracks and smaller details much more noticeable than on their original counterparts. One of the most notable improvements was for the song 'gOth bb'. Whereas in the original tracks the heavy, beat-based atmospheric wall sucked up every other sound in its vicinity like a musical version of The Blob, the remastered version gives every little noise (the black metal like screaming in the background, for example) its time of day. I have also always been a personal fan of 'KVLTSTEP'. I feel as if the slow pace and focus on doing-more-with-less turns it into a meditative track rather than one that's meant to crank the bass up to eleven. It has a melancholic flavor to it that's hypnotic and wonderous. If there's any song on the album that should be listened to, it's this one. My complaints about the album, then, come from one sole statement: "†‡†" is very much a product of its time. Ten years is a long-time for a producer to improve and mature in their musical journey and Ritualz is no different. For example, listening to the song 'Trash Mental' off of 2018's "Doom" shows Ritualz learned a lot about proper mixing and sound design. Rather than trying to blast the door down with incredulous bass, I feel as if Ritualz was more confident as a musician and was able to experiment more and create a more defining sound for his project. In other words, in 2021, if I were introducing a friend to Ritualz "†‡†: would not be the album I would show them for starters. I would much rather show them "Doom" or even 2014's "OUTWORLD MUSIC". At the end of the day, then, the main question becomes whether or not Re:Mission Entertainment did what they set out to do. The answer to that question is, obviously, that they did. "†‡†" has never sounded better; though the vinyl has not been released yet, the .WAV files sent to me for review show massive improvements over the originals. It also allows fans to get a physical copy of this album without having to scope out Discogs for a CD that's likely three or four times more than the original asking price. Though I can't say that "†‡†" is my favorite release from the producer, it still holds merit as a jumping point for Ritualz. It also helped shape the future of witch house music, so I give the album the totality of my respect. Yes, there are other albums of Ritualz that I prefer to this one, but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy what is on this one. For everything said, then, I give this album a 6.5 out of 10! This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 350
Brutal Resonance

Ritualz - †‡†

6.5
"Alright"
Released 2021 by Re:Mission Entertainment
Ritualz is often revered as being one of the many pioneers within the witch house genre; in the late 2000's, when the genre began taking off did JC Lobo AKA Ritualz begin his musical conquest. This led to the release of his debut EP "†‡†", also called "CDR". Following the success of his debut EP with fans praising his style and persona, Ritualz continued his journey. He self-released the "Ghetto Ass Witch" EP in 2011 while also releasing a versus EP with Fostercare on Robot Elephant Records. After another EP "Hypermotion X", Ritualz began his own record label called Maligna which saw his anthology collection "Outworld Music" released in 2014. After a full length album "Doom" came out on Artoffact Records and a release on his own label "Häxan" in 2020, 2021 sees Ritualz going back to roots by collaborating with Re:Mission Entertainment. The EP that started it all "†‡†" has been remastered and will be released on June 25th, 2021 via the record label. 

The idea of a re-issue or a remaster might possibly baffle some, but I have always been for them. Especially in cases of "†‡†", where the original limited edition CDR has been sold out for the longest time. I mean, c'mon, ten years is a long time for an album to be out. From an independent producer's standpoint, it only makes sense that the CDR would be sold out by now. Ten years is also a long time to amass a brand new fanbase, and those fans are probably hungry to have a physical copy of every single Ritualz release. Remasters and re-issues offer fans the opportunity to complete their collection or, at the very least, add to it. And, judging by the pre-order listings for "†‡†" on the Re:Mission Entertainment Bandcamp page, Ritualz' followers are more than eager for this record to be released.

Getting into the review portion, then, what you receive on this album is a remastered edition of "†‡†" featuring the eight original tracks. I am impressed with what Re:Mission Entertainment has been able to provide with this remastered album. I will sometimes receive a remastered promotion, but when comparing the remastered version to the canon there is hardly a difference. That is not the case with "†‡†". I went back and forth between the version available on Ritualz' Bandcamp page and the new, revamped tracks and found clarity in once foggy tracks and smaller details much more noticeable than on their original counterparts. 

One of the most notable improvements was for the song 'gOth bb'. Whereas in the original tracks the heavy, beat-based atmospheric wall sucked up every other sound in its vicinity like a musical version of The Blob, the remastered version gives every little noise (the black metal like screaming in the background, for example) its time of day. I have also always been a personal fan of 'KVLTSTEP'. I feel as if the slow pace and focus on doing-more-with-less turns it into a meditative track rather than one that's meant to crank the bass up to eleven. It has a melancholic flavor to it that's hypnotic and wonderous. If there's any song on the album that should be listened to, it's this one. 

My complaints about the album, then, come from one sole statement: "†‡†" is very much a product of its time. Ten years is a long-time for a producer to improve and mature in their musical journey and Ritualz is no different. For example, listening to the song 'Trash Mental' off of 2018's "Doom" shows Ritualz learned a lot about proper mixing and sound design. Rather than trying to blast the door down with incredulous bass, I feel as if Ritualz was more confident as a musician and was able to experiment more and create a more defining sound for his project. In other words, in 2021, if I were introducing a friend to Ritualz "†‡†: would not be the album I would show them for starters. I would much rather show them "Doom" or even 2014's "OUTWORLD MUSIC". 

At the end of the day, then, the main question becomes whether or not Re:Mission Entertainment did what they set out to do. The answer to that question is, obviously, that they did. "†‡†" has never sounded better; though the vinyl has not been released yet, the .WAV files sent to me for review show massive improvements over the originals. It also allows fans to get a physical copy of this album without having to scope out Discogs for a CD that's likely three or four times more than the original asking price. Though I can't say that "†‡†" is my favorite release from the producer, it still holds merit as a jumping point for Ritualz. It also helped shape the future of witch house music, so I give the album the totality of my respect. Yes, there are other albums of Ritualz that I prefer to this one, but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy what is on this one. For everything said, then, I give this album a 6.5 out of 10! 

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Apr 24 2021

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
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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