Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination
RidingEasy Records (Us/Them Group)
Release date: 22/01/2021
Running time: 61 minutes
Review by: Alun Jones
OK: we have something very interesting here. Something quite special. Apparently, this is the fourth album from Here Lies Man, so I’ve got some catching up to do. The bands unique selling point is their amalgamation of Black Sabbath with Afrobeat, and it’s a refreshing interpretation of a genre that continues to morph and bewitch the listener.
On this release, founding members Marcos Garcia (vocals/guitar) and Geoff Mann (drums) are joined by Doug Organ on keyboards and JP Maramba on bass. Here Lies Man devoutly worship the riff in full-on Iommi style, but they’re piloting their space vessel on an exploratory course into previously uncharted galaxies.
Yes, there are chunky, heavy guitar riffs galore – but with a stroke of mad scientist genius the rhythms power the engine with a new force. Tracks like “I Wander”, “Night Comes” and album highlight “Can’t Kill It” don’t just rock, they don’t just groove: there’s something – dare I say it – danceable in the songs on Ritual Divination. So much so, that I might just have to go and shake my not inconsiderable booty right now.
There. That’s better. Just had to groove on out there, people – but I’m back now. Here Lies Man have crafted something very infectious. Snippets of 70s style heavy rock (“Collector of Vanities”), dizzy space rock (“In These Dreams”) and incessant beats (everywhere) create something that’s heavy AND fun.
If I have one criticism, it’s that the album feels slightly too long. All this inventiveness is sometimes hard to keep up with, despite its addictive nature. Over time, however, I’m guessing the additional length of the recording will probably deliver greater rewards.
Ritual Divination by Here Lies Man: boldly rocking where no one has rocked before.
My old mates in Black Sabbath used to enjoy going off in random directions, too (usually because of the, er… substances). One time, Bill Ward decided to play yet another prank on diminutive vocal god Ronnie James Dio by taking an axe to all the furniture in Ron’s hotel room and hacking off eight inches from the bottom of everything, to make it all smaller. Chair legs, table legs, bed – the lot. Moved the pictures – and the mirror on the wall – lower down by a foot, etc etc.
When Ronnie arrived, not only did he not get the joke, he really didn’t get the joke at all. He thought it was a special room for the vertically challenged, congratulated the Hotel Manager and gave me a big cash bonus for booking him such a fabulous room. Cheers, Bill!
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