EDGE OF FOREVER – Ritual (2023) HQ

EDGE OF FOREVER - Ritual (2023) - lossless full

Ritual” is the upcoming new album from rockers EDGE OF FOREVER which has never been so active since the 2019 reunion, returning to the scene with two strong albums: “Native Soul” and the critically acclaimed “Seminole”.
The new line-up consisting of Aldo Lonobile (Secret Sphere, Sweet Oblivion) on guitars, Nik Mazzucconi (Labyrinth, Sunstorm) on bass, and Marco Di Salvia (Hardline) on drums, and rounded up by singer, keyboardist, and founder Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Jorn, Revolution Saints) – has become a true force of nature after the numerous tours and headlining shows that brought the band to successfully open for the likes of Skid Row, FM, Eclipse, Mike Tramp and many more.
The new musical path made of heavier guitars, epic choruses, and richest arrangements have brought the band to a much bigger crowd, expanding their spectrum from a mere Hard Rock band. ”Ritual” is some kind of a concept album, all under the Native American spiritual culture which are now a trademark of the band.
As a whole, ”Ritual” is EDGE OF FOREVER best and most complete album to date.

The band’s last three albums have been released over a relatively short four-year timespan with the same line up – one therefore might expect them to sound similar – which they do with their mix of melodic hard rock and metal styles – but there’s a visible maturing of the composition skills in “Ritual”
The centrepiece of the CD is the ambitious seven-part title track which comes in at a whopping twenty minutes. Just the thought of that is likely to have fans with any prog tendencies licking their lips.

But before getting there we have six regular tracks which demonstrate Edge Of Forever at the top of their game, and they don’t get much better than opener Where Are You. It’s a masterclass in how to write a melodic rock anthem. The building blocks of the song are laid out immediately with a mysterious sounding picked guitar phrase followed by an earworm of a guitar riff. Strings enhance the texture before Del Vecchio’s powerful voice comes in. There’s a glorious chord change going into the chorus that is pure Bon Jovi. We get a short but searing solo from Lonobile, and the song fades out on that opening guitar phrase.

Water Be My Path is equally impressive and is characterized by a bluesy guitar refrain and a wonderfully anthemic chorus where the soaring synths stand out. This track also highlights the crystal-clear production on the album which doesn’t try to blast the listener with a wall of noise but instead focuses on clarity of the individual voices. There’s also no fluff – songs are concise and never outstay their welcome.

Within the first part of the album, Forever’s Unfolding, a good mid-paced Dio-style tune, showcases the heavier side of the group, and that’s offset by the good but perhaps slightly predictable piano-led power ballad, Love Is The Only Answer. ‘Predictable’ was also the word that came to my mind listening to The Last One but, God damn it, it’s impossible not to be singing along to that chorus by the end!
The only real disappointment on the album is Freeing My Will. This one ventures into speed metal territory, but it fails to excite and melody-wise is insipid compared to some of the beautiful stuff surrounding it.

The title track isn’t the first time that the band have attempted a multi-part piece, even if it’s a different scale to the modest four-part title track on Seminole.
Pt 1 opens with a meaty riff, but the main texture comes from the lush synths which along with a slightly Eastern accent bring back echoes of Rainbow’s Gates Of Babylon. It’s certainly a suitably epic way to open such an ambitious suite. The next two Parts are energetic metallic songs before Pt. IV Baptized in Fire brings a complete change of atmosphere with eighty seconds of beautiful polyphonic a cappella choral voices. I’m not sure if all the voices we hear are Del Vecchio’s, but if so it’s an impressive feat.

This is followed by Ride The Wings Of Hope, a joyous rocker with large doses of organ that give it a Deep Purple feel. The track closes with a return of the opening Pt 1 riff which helps maintain the cohesion of the suite. Pt V1 is a short piece for piano and vocal with a gorgeous melody emotionally delivered by Del Vecchio. To these ears that was the perfect way to gently close the suite but there is a final short funereal lament, which might make sense within the concept but is perhaps not the most satisfying way to close the title track and the album.
Nevertheless, the title track demonstrates the band’s ability to construct a compelling large-scale piece of music.

There’s no doubt that Edge Of Forever have exceeded all expectations with ”Ritual”, and it’s surely going to be up there as their best album so far. It’s an album that oozes quality, and it will appeal to lovers of stadium anthems and headbangers alike.
Highly Recommended


1. Where Are You?
2. Water Be My Path
3. Freeing My Will
4. The Last One
5. Love Is The Only Answer
6. Forever’s Unfolding
7. Ritual Pt. I
8. Ritual Pt. Ii Revert Destiny
9. Ritual Pt. Iii Taunting Souls
10. Ritual Pt. Iv Baptized In Fire
11. Ritual Pt. V Ride The Wings Of Hope
12. Ritual Pt. Vi Cross My Eyes
13. Ritual Pt. Vii Reconciliation

Alessandro Del Vecchio – Vocals, keyboards
Aldo Lonobile – Guitars
Nik Mazzucconi – Bass
Marco Di Salvia – Drums


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