“Four beautifully depressing and gloom-ridden doom metal tracks from the cold reaches of crust capitol Minneapolis. GRAVES AT SEA, ASUNDER, THORR'S HAMMER are all brought to mind. Occult, mysterious, and hypnotic, these are mammoth no-fucks -given riffs with mystical and pagan lyrical content. Moon through bare branches cover image? Check. Worthy of occupying any metalhead’s tape deck”
-Maximum Rock n’ Roll
"I like my metal like I like my coffee: black, sludgy, and full of distortion. While this might make for a disgusting and confusing coffee, it does make for some rather excellent (and ridiculously heavy) metal. I am, of course, talking about doom metal; the lazy cousin of death metal who can’t be bothered to play at face-melting speeds, and instead chooses to trudge along at a grim pace, dishing out riffs so crushingly heavy that death metal sounds like Kidz Bop in comparison. The young Minnesotan quartet Circadian Ritual have managed to embody all of this in their debut release, Circadian Ritual.
On first glance, Circadian Ritual looks like a relatively short album, spanning only four tracks. However, in true doom metal fashion, each track lasts well over ten minutes long; with the aptly titled “Ethereal Monolith” dominating the album, weighing in at 13 minutes. The track itself opens with a slow, crawling pace, featuring lead guitarist Rick Parsons and bassist Ben Shaffer, with Parsons’ tonal riffs intertwining with Shaffer’s deep, heavily distorted bass guitar, creating an intense infusion which I have rarely heard to be paralleled. The track acts as an instrumental until four and a half minutes in, when vocalist Jake Quittshreiber makes his grand appearance, roaring ferociously.
Unlike so many modern heavy metal bands, Quittshreiber’s voice is not an angry shout or an incomprehensible scream, but a throaty, hoarse-sounding bark; entirely intimidating yet clearly defined managing to be both ferocious but still understandable at the same time. “Ethereal Monolith” comes together piece by piece; first the guitars, then the drums, then the vocals, until the entire band are playing together as one, culminating in a triumphant wall of sound: a sludgy, slow, yet incredibly barbaric, sounding metal.
This is very much how the entirety of Circadian Ritual continues on; an unbelievably heavy mass of distorted guitars and harsh vocals with all the speed of a funeral procession, something which comes together so perfectly. There is a real feeling of unrest and disaster to the album too, with drummer Jim Clark occasionally going against the tempo of the song, or Parson playing an atonal mess of notes, both deliberate inclusions to heighten the feeling of impending doom. The level of intricacy and dedication from Circadian Ritual is simply astounding. They’ve created an album which has managed to capture the core of what the doom metal genre ‘is’; a feeling of melancholy and tragedy achieved through a harsh, slow, and heavy style of play.
Certainly an album that any fan of heavy metal should listen to immediately."
"Since their formation in 2016, it hasn’t taken Circadian Ritual long to release their debut and now we have it just one year later. This self titled release from these Minnesota doom merchants provides you with four sludge filled doom tracks that rake your soul over the burning embers of hell. Each track trudges along at a slow burning pace only to kick the tempo up a notch when needed only to bring it back down to a bone rattling hum. All five songs on this release are a wall of deadly doomed out noise that buzz and lurch along steamrolling over everything and anything that dares stand in their way.
This self titled release begins with Chalice I, which starts off with a glacial slow intro complete with ominous riffs that are coupled with an eerie bell tolling in the background that is paired with spectral voices swirling and oozing from your speakers as well. Once the intro is over, Circadian Ritual get right into the fetid meat of the record providing you with heaps and heaps of infected doom. Right from the get go, Circadian Ritual hit you with mountainous riffs coupled with rumbling bass lines and dissonant vocals that seem to be called out from beyond the grave.
Circadian Ritual give off a spectral and haunting sound that not only is hair raising but it sticks with you as well. Each song is riddled with a deadly atmosphere that closes in on you with each passing second. This five track self titled release provides you with a dense and murky atmosphere that makes you feel as though you are the one that is under one of the headstones on the cover art. Through four songs, Circadian Ritual provides you with a soul trampling, twisting and sinister listen that you ultimately have a hard time shaking.
Each song on this release plays together very well making the entire release flow well and feel like a cohesive listen. With the passing of each song you can feel yourself buckling under the sheer weight and once the record is over you are buried six feet under the cold damp earth. This release is undeniably heavy and an undeniably great listen as well. There is a lot that is packed into this release and even though the run times are on the lengthier side, it never feels like a burden to listen all the way through and listen numerous times as well. Overall, this release is a good listen, one that provides you with plenty of heavy and damning doom for you to bruise your brain to."
"Density. Bad wave. Slowness. Doom Metal. Well, yes, I do not forget the blessed label that is so popular today: Sludge. But, do not confuse people, you have to be clear: Circadian Ritual is a 100% old-school Sludge band, leaving no room for hipsters or something- type Post anything whatever. That make these guys from Minneapolis, Minnesota, is ultra-fucked, crushing, and evil Doom.
The voice of Jake Quittschreiber is brutal, from beyond the grave; A guttural cry of a beast emitting sounds of pain and fury. The guitars (by Rick Parsons and again Quittschreiber) emanate smell rotten in each chord, eternal and calcinating chords executed without haste, Without urgency, but with great rage, supported by a sound wall as big as strong. And the base (Jim Clark on drums and Ben Shaffer on bass) does what it should do: play as slow and heavy as possible, serving as support for the other two members to convey all their heavy madness about those devastating rhythms and Endless In other words, they do what a good Doom Metal band should do. And they flavor it with the addition of an ingredient that gives a distinctive touch to a good band of Doom Metal that has chosen evil as a vehicle: they sound like 4 true sons of bitches. Good bad milk, devoid of any traits of romantic sweetness or cold rationalism. Circadian Ritual is passion and sound violence exhibited to the rhythm of a creeping beast.
The EP consists of 4 tracks, Which can be heard from a bandcamp flip (edition that ran on behalf of the group), or on two sides of 2 tracks each, format that can find if they get the cassette. And here I make a differentiation that I consider necessary. Although the band has a well defined style and launched in the 4 songs that make up the album.
The first two ("The Highest Priest" and "Ethereal Monolith") are connected by a punctual quality: gantry riffs. Yes, ominous, eternal, brutal and black, but hookers. While the other two songs ("Black Chalice I", followed by its second part), still keeping the sound and structures almost unalterable, sound more funeral. Either way, you have to spin fine to find these differences, Because the disc itself is homogeneous and well defined in all respects.
Personally, I consider the most marked influences or similarities to be with Grief, Cough and our friends of Hypoxia. I mean, fucking music, made by fucked up people, and directed to even more fucked up people. And as I am a fuck, well I have spent listening to this first work of these Circadian Ritual. "