Conceived as the score to “Ritual Path” the new video DVD follow up to “Illuminated Manuscripts” by John S. Banks. The music CD, standing on its own, is a blend of world, trance, electronica, rock and symphonic with a strong spiritual sense. The music mixes pure instrumental pieces with some atmospheric vocal tracks. Guest singers include Jon Anderson of YES, kaRIN of Collide, Molly Pasutti and Nijole Sparkis.
Soundtrack to the acclaimed DVD, “Ritual Path” presents a blend of world, trance, electronica, rock and symphonic sounds with a strong spiritual sensibility. Instrumental mood pieces alternate with ethereal vocal tracks to produce a haunting, evocative soundscape that envelopes the listener with aural mood enhancement.
Suitable for meditative listening or background to a gathering, “Ritual Path” permits listeners to enjoy it on their own terms. Guest artists include Yes vocalist Jon Anderson. Collide vocalist kaRIN. Lithuanian-American songwriter Nile Sparks and singer/songwriter Molly Pasutti.
The CD “Ritual Path” is of course the soundtrack to the highly stimulating visual-experience “Ritual Path”, which is an incredible DVD experience that we will not discuss much here. To do so would only be a distraction. What we’re concerned with here is the stand-alone quality of composer/producer Fritz Heede’s music, and that quality is great.
Now, obviously we have to get down to what kind of music that is. “Ritual Path” would not be much of a hit with the heavy metal or ska crowds for instance. The industrial, thrash, or punk music aficionados might not have much use for it either, but fans of the ethereal dreamscape will be quite impressed with the fourteen tracks found on this enchanting album.
Some seventy-two minutes in length, the CD actually takes on an endless, surreal quality as one number blends seamlessly into the next. This is interesting due to the range of guest artists to be heard here. For instance, after an all-music first track, the second track features vocals co-written and performed by Yes’s Jon Anderson. There are also three pieces with vocals by the ever delightful Nijole Sparks, two by Molly Pasutti, and one by kaRIN.
One might expect such a mix to come off at least slightly jarring, especially considering that some tracks are sung in English, one is Lithuanian and one in Elvish, but such is not the case. The haunting, sublime rhythms, no matter who wrote or performed them, all come together masterfully, telling one long, soothing story. This is due to Heede’s typically incredible attention to detail, and precision in picking material and then setting its tracks in the perfect order.
Whether you want such music for long drives, dinner parties, setting the mood for bedtime, etcetera, this is one of the best ambient albums produced in years. “Ritual Path,” the DVD, must be a stunning presentation because, let me assure you, “Ritual Path,” the CD, is a wonderful listen. Haunting, intriguing, delightful – its repeat button quota is limitless.
Author of “The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction Movies”