There are few bands that I know that so frequently changes direction as Deaf Havana. From the early albums of dual vocal emo (Meet Me Halfway, At Least) to alternative rock (Fools and Worthless Liars) further into folk rock (Old Souls) and from then on to stadium rock (All These Countless Nights), here we are with the album Rituals and yes, this is a case of new album, new sound again. Where have the boys wander off to this time? Right from the start it is obvious this is Deaf Havana’s most pop album yet.
Since I really like ATCN and the sound of that album, I was very excited to hear that they would follow it up with new music so close after they released the re-worked version of ATCN. I was however taken a bit back by the new sound. This is more keyboard oriented than before and much more, well, pop oriented. One quite interesting thing is that all songs and the album title are one-word titles.
But hey, try to sit still or not sing along to songs like Sinner and Worship. There are weaker songs on here as well, I am personally not a big fan of Hell, Evil or Heaven, but those songs are easily outweighed by gems like Holy, Saviour and the two mentioned above. Deaf Havana really has a knack for writing memorable hooks and catchy melodies. Even if a song might start out slow, it often blossoms into a wonderful chorus, like the title track, Ritual, slow start but after the first chorus is a nice pop tune. The ending is a bit bland for me, however and that brings down the total grade.
I must applaud their quest of constant development, though. Maybe it is not their best or most consistent album for their career, but whey they hit the jackpot songs, they show that they can pull off even this change as well. I am very excited to see where they will take us next. Whatever they have got in store for us, I am down with it!