Razors Through Flesh - Ritual - Stereo Stickman

Razors Through Flesh Ritual

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Intended as an attempt to cut to the core of our humanity and expose the emotional threads of the fraying bonds between us, Ritual is an EP created out of the depths of personal turmoil, and its sound is, quite relevantly, unlike anything much else you’re likely to have stumbled upon of late.

The project’s title track is where things begin, this chaotic collision between various elements of retro and organic audio creation smashes on to the stage and continues to grow more and more complex and intense with every beat that passes by. There are only a few, somewhat subtle threads on the track – for the most part it feels like the final shoot-out in some vintage gaming experience. There’s a dash of something tribal on occasion – the distant vocals, the return to the beat, the disjointed rhythm – but on the whole this feels like the sort of ‘ritual’ that is perhaps less commonly talked about or considered.

Victim Unresponsive follows the opener and offers something more of a story-line and underlying concept. There’s a distinct pace to this, recognizable samples and sounds flicker in and out of the mix, and the backing vocal-line details the critical situation in a fitting way. Still these nostalgic gaming outbursts intertwine or are at war with each other as the soundscape progresses.

Daemonic is a definite highlight from the collection, at some point within this track the whole journey starts to make sense – something clicks. This back and forth between intensity and melody, the quiet riffs and the hard-hitting downpour of drums, it creates a feeling of calm ruined or possessed by chaos – quite artistically and cleverly representing the song’s underlying concept.

Posession/Exorcism follows and furthers this aura of understanding, opening with melody, a chord progression, something familiar and comforting to lull you into a false sense of security. How these tracks have been crafted is quite mystifying – many of them, this one in particular, seem like freestyle DJ sessions; late night hypnoticism with Ableton Live open and the mind wandering off anywhere it wants to. There’s a definite structure to the track in hindsight though, these various sections provide the various pages of the unfolding story-line, so you witness it all first hand – the haunting, dark energy; the inescapable heaviness.

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Whatever it is about escapism that appeals, this music undoubtedly offers the sort that unquestionably takes your mind off whatever it was that you were worried about; at least for a while. There’s a splatter of distorted electric guitar on occasion that adds to the multiple layers of riffs and emotional outbursts that make up the whole EP. You could almost break the project down into these moments, as opposed to by the more standard collection of verses and choruses.

Aeternal marks the final track of the release, a familiar set-up emerges – you know what to expect by now, which is always that which can’t be expected. The sounds and layers on this final piece seem vast and noisier than ever. Think riots at a carnival or circus, immense pain mixed in with ignorant bliss and energetic joy, all connected and confused and uncertain of what the future really holds.

The second time you visit these compositions they all make a little more sense – it’s a dark and unsettling exploration of the world and the lives that roam within it. Extreme pain affects us all in similar ways, but what we do with that pain is ours for the taking. Raw, artistic creativity is undoubtedly one of the most expressive and connective ways to feel less isolated and to move forwards. This music is incredibly original and unique, and what’s more – you recognise it pretty quickly as the Razors Through Flesh sound. There’s character, identity – running thorough all of it.

Download the EP via Bandcamp. Find & Follow Razors Through Flesh on Facebook.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Musician & writer with an MA in Songwriting.