Hmm, Ritual Dictates… Dare we toss out that oh so dreaded term “supergroup?” Well, while you debate that in your mind and among your buddies, we’ll take care of the heavy load of familiarizing you with the brand new metal group Ritual Dictates, a two-piece featuring former 3 Inches of Blood guitarist Justin Hagberg and Revocation drummer Ash Pearson.

While 2020 may suck to a large degree, Ritual Dictates has arrived to impart some level of redemption to the year thanks to their new music video for “Poisonous Proclamation” off of their just-released Artoffact Records debut, Give In To Despair. This time out, along for the ride is the rock supreme himself, Danko Jones, who adds his trademark personality to this three-minute riff-fest. Hagberg and Danko feed extremely well off of one another, with the former’s wails complemented perfectly by the punk rock attitude of the latter.

Commenting on the clip, Hagberg shares the following thoughts, “We’re very excited to release a video for ‘Poisonous Proclamation.’ This was one of the first songs Ash and I wrote together for Ritual Dictates, and was definitely the first of our songs to project our classic rock inspirations. All the stylistic variations on the record were spawned from what this song started, which makes it very sentimental to us. And further to that sentiment, this was also the first song that we had the thought of having a guest vocalist on. The first and only person that we could think of was Danko Jones, so we are beyond stoked that we were able to make that happen and present this video to you here. The director, Chris Ray, is an old friend whom we’ve worked with on past 3 Inches of Blood projects, so it was great to have him back in the fold. We love his stuff and are very pleased with the work he put into this video.”

With metal practically running through their blood, Hagberg and Pearson aren’t interested in any experimental nonsense. No, they have united to bring out the best in not only themselves but also one another, with Ritual Dictates’ sound firmly entrenched within metal and grind metal, with some dabbling in black metal and good old-fashioned, balls to the wall rock n’ roll. In writing and recording Give In To Despair, Hagberg and Pearson showed no fear in trying out a bunch of styles, along with a lot of different instrumentation. They obviously took some inspiration from their previous bands, Allfather and Angel Grinder, but they also just let their creative juices run wild producing some very positive results.

It’s difficult to describe Give In To Despair except to say that it’s a full-on metal assault that feels very unrestrained. It took both Hagberg and Pearson to new places musically where they may have previously been uncomfortable. And, if the pot wasn’t already sweetened enough, the two brought some friends to the party. Along with Danko, the album includes guest appearances from Shawn Haché (Mitochondrion, Auroch, Night Profound), and Shane Clark (Bison, 3 Inches of Blood).

With experience, confidence, and a smokin’ new record to go along with it, let the rest of 2020 be the year of Ritual Dictates.

Artwork for ‘Give In To Despair’ by Ritual Dictates
Author

Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.