Hot on the heels of their split-album with the strangely named Sanctuary In Blasphemy, Sonic Ritual from the lovely city of Stockholm have released a new 12" EP called "Mother Hearse" for High Roller Records. The speedy delivery of the follow-up surely does mean that people dug the record. Singer and guitarist Henrik Palm agrees: "Well, I haven't really heard any bad reactions so I guess that's a good sign. But on the other hand, I haven't really heard any super-duper-good either. Here in Stockholm people don't say much unless you threat them. But I know that some of my close friends like it a lot and that's the only acknowledgement I need. But when we play live people seem to know the songs and are pretty excited about us. So clearly, people appreciate The Ritual to some extent." Did Sonic Ritual tour for the split-album or at least throw a big record release party with their friends from Sanctuary In Blasphemy? Henrik explains: "Sanctuary In Blasphemy had kind of a release party here in town but due to some bad timing only me and Viktor (the drummer) could attend. We were asked to play but we had very recently played at the same venue and did some other gigs in Stockholm around the same time so we thought people would be fed up with us. Now, looking back, I think it's very sad that we couldn't have a proper release party for both bands. We'll have to make another split-LP just for the sake of the party!" The four tracks of the new 12" EP "Mother Hearse" are all taken from the band's aptly titled demo "Rat-eyed Ghoul": "Recorded in the confusing and depressing summer of 2008. The songs feel kinda old now but since only a hundred people (or less) own the tape it feels good that Steffen let us put it out on vinyl so more people can hear it." Which does not mean, however, that the band has been lazy regarding the writing of brand new material: "Yes sir, we have written new stuff! We have about four to five new songs ready which we actually recorded a few weeks ago. It was our first recording with Viktor at the helm and it was once again settled that he is the most perfect drummer for The Ritual. Our previous drummer was a real pain in the ass so the arrival of The Viktor was just a blessing. I give most of the credit to him that the recording turned out so hard driven and cool. We also recorded our version of the great song 'Iron & Stone' by the even greater band The Obsessed. A little different and faster then the original but still very much the same song. We have been talking with an American Metal Punk band to do a split-7" with them so we'll what happens." Into which direction does Henrik see the sound of The Ritual developing in the future? More psychedelic, more Stoner, more Punk or more Motörheadish? He does not take long to answer: "A little bit of everything, except for Stoner. I prefer Trouble before Kyuss if you know what I mean.
But some of the new songs are faster than anything we have done before and some of them are kinda mid-tempo. None of the new songs are really slow since we (or just maybe I) have become really picky with the doomy parts. But me and Linnea have been joking around with the tag 'fast Doom' and to me it seems like a fairly good description of some of the material. At least in my own (close-minded) world it comes really natural to mix a dirty, doomy and dark yet melodic atmosphere with a fast and dirty d-beat drumming instead of playing slow. In my head its seems like a perfect match. But that's just me and I can be totally wrong of course. Exciting times nevertheless!" Yes, indeed! This man surely does know what he is talking about!
Whereas the cover artwork of the split-album with Sanctuary In Blasphemy was really dark (maybe a bit too dark), the graphics of "Mother Hearse" possess a straight-in-your face quality. Henrik explains: "Alan Forbes is responsible for the good looking piece of cover. He's done artwork for a huge band like Black Crows which feels really weird when I start to think about it. He has also done some concert poster artwork for bands like High On Fire, Mastodon and the Melvins, just to name a few so he felt like the best option really. The American record label Tank Crimes was supposed to release the 12" like six months ago but due to some financial problems Scotty (label boss and a very, very nice guy) couldn't afford to release is it. It was him, Scotty, who knew Alan and he made him do it. We are eternally grateful to both of them! The cover looks really fucking good. It will look fantastic framed on my wall next to the posters with Hellhammer and Poison Idea." It will definitely look the part, that is right!