Within just a year, the world saw the coming and going of [several editions of] synthwave trio Ritual Veil’s searing debut EP, Wolf In The Night. Distressed dances and brazen expressionism intertwine through synthetic soundscapes, distressed guitars and the longing, cool vocals of Alexander Wolfe. It invites us into a sonic underworld that seems to envelope every part of humanity from melancholic sentimentality to carefree bliss. This month, Wolf In The Night received the proper vinyl treatment thanks to Italy’s AVANT! Records. The label obviously recognized the special something produced in these six songs, from its very first note.
Opener “Grey Filter” acts a rabbit-hole to fall down, its modulating synths and crazed rhythms immediately instills the album’s constant conflict between carefree danceability and grounded emotionality, culminating in the vocal cool of Alexander Wolfe. Mechanized compositions meld with and organic tenderness and the lines between laughing and crying are blurred from the get-go. Pop sensibilities take the forefront on the Title Track, just about the midway point, incorporating the gratification of guitar with lush synths and it feels like a new record altogether. The thing presents itself, reinvents itself and reinvents itself again in just six songs. It’s pretty much always dark, yes. But true feeling is always tinged as such.The songs are urgent and dramatic pleas, desperate to be heard, either in fast-paced freneticism or perhaps even more especially on the more subdued “Surface,” and closer “Time Again.” But it’s never not something to which to move.
Wolf In The Night is out now on AVANT! Records.