APPLESEED CAST, THE: Illumination Ritual: CD/LP

Jul 24, 2013

Over the more than fifteen year career of The Appleseed Cast, the lineup has turned over more than a few times, but singer and guitarist Christopher Crisci has remained. His voice and an atmospheric, indie rock guitar sound is what has made The Appleseed Cast’s sound consistent in spite of the changes. Illumination Ritual, the band’s eighth full-length album, is ten songs that come in at forty-four minutes. It’s certainly different than their last full-length, Sagarmatha, and the one preceding it, Peregrine. In some ways, it is more reminiscent of the band’s second LP, Mare Vitalis, especially as it relates to the drum work. The style of Nathan Wilder is reminiscent of Josh Baruth (the drummer on Mare Vitalis) in its complexity and rhythmic structure. It really gives Illumination Ritual some life and energy for a style that might otherwise be moodier. That’s not to say that there’s not some good emotion on here, but it’s more reserved, not like the band was on their earliest albums. Still, there are some great moments, such as the way the guitar and vocals combine on “Cathedral Rings” and the vocals and drums work together on “30 Degrees 3am.” I can’t say this is the band’s best work, as the majority of the songs don’t stand out like the two just mentioned. However, Illumination Ritual certainly isn’t the band’s worst. It’s got a pleasant feel and brings back reminders of what might be the band’s finest work, Mare Vitalis. It’s safe to say this is an album for fans, but not necessarily the best place for someone to begin to get into the band.

 –Bryan Static (Graveface)