So apparently Belfast is home to the heaviest band on the planet. Who knew? Well I certainly know now so allow me to introduce you to Nomadic Rituals; a 3 piece blackened doom band from Belfast who sound like an ungodly mix of ‘The Beyond’-era Cult of Luna and Iron Monkey. Their debut album Holy Giants is as enormous and overbearing as its title suggests. I was also confused to see the band label the release an album when I noticed there were only 5 tracks. However, being a doom release these 5 tracks manage to total a rather impressive 46 and a half minutes which more than qualifies for an album.
The biggest draw on Holy Giants is how bizarrely atmospheric the release is. This isn’t a half-arsed drudge through riffs that last too long; Holy Giants is a wonderfully textured and ethereal release that creates an extremely tense and foreboding atmosphere. Nomadic Rituals do this with a rather subtle blend of extremely down-tuned, grunty guitar work and then pepper it with death growls, black metal-esque screams and an understated use of electronics like on the quite frankly amazing ‘The Ritual’.
‘The Ritual’ also earns bonus points for being incredibly engaging for its almost 11 minute song length and it does this while being almost entirely instrumental. The song changes tempo between mid-paced riffing and a slow, crawling grind to make sure the listener isn’t burdened with the sometimes painful drag of some doom metal which hardly bothers to change things up.
This proves to be Nomadic Rituals most powerful weapon. Despite writing songs that generally feature a slower pace than your average metal song, they manage to encapsulate their audience with interesting strong structures as well as great riffs and a brilliant use of texture and atmosphere. Nomadic Rituals have found a superb middle ground that allows them to employ the slow, meandering nature of doom metal whilst also peppering the formula with enough original elements to make 15 and a half minute songs like ‘An Accepted Human Condition’ tolerable.
Nomadic Rituals ‘Holy Giants’ was a massive surprise. This monolithic beast of an album delivers everything fans of doom metal like about the genre but manages to deliver it with interesting song structures and light touches of atmospherics which add an unsettling texture to it all. This album really does sound like you’ve been transported to an ancient ceremony being held by a group of mystical tribesmen and considering this album came from a band called Nomadic Rituals I think they’ve delivered everything their name said they would. This is a stunning debut that any fan of doom metal should seriously consider owning.
Nomadic Rituals’ Holy Giants is out now and available to buy on limited edition digipak CD direct from the band.