AlbumsNovember 29, 20117,965 views

Minsk The Ritual Fires of Abandonment

01. Embers 02. White Wings MP3 03. Mescaline Sunrise 04. The Orphans of Piety 05. Circle of Ashes 06. Ceremony Ek Stasis
2007 Relapse Records
Our score 5

by Cory

Back in February, Relapse simultaneously released two records from two new additions to their roster: Rwake and Minsk. While I pretty much immediately appreciated Rwake's Voice of Omens, it has taken me months to really give Minsk a chance. Armed with the album on CD as well as two slabs of vinyl courtesy of Gilead Media, I revisited The Ritual Fires of Abandoment and unfortunately didn't find it much more appealing this time around. Listening to this album all the way through is a test of endurance, an ultimately unrewarding search for powerful moments spread unevenly throughout an hour of meandering doomy post-rock. There's a wealth of conceptually interesting techniques and tidbits, but it just doesn't all add up to anything of particular consequence. The disc's opener and highlight "Embers" takes advantage of its thirteen minute-plus length to swirl and swell into a musical steamroller, but much like the album's other extended compositions, it wears out its welcome well before its closing note. Minsk's strengths are their ear for arrangement and their obvious dedication to their musical vision. It's generally apparent throughout this record that whether or not what they're doing is working, the members of Minsk are totally committed to it and that counts for something in my book. "White Wings" illustrates this point well when, a minute and a half in, one of the most obnoxious vocal effects I've ever heard is followed up by a carefully placed synth flourish that somehow made an impact in the midst of all the thunderous guitar lines. The chanting towards the middle of the song and the vocal theme that follow are one of the only truly memorable vocal portions of the disc and sadly come in the first third of the record. These first two tracks and spacey interlude "Mescaline Sunrise" are the only tracks on this record that even begin to work for me and the disc's bloated second half has the distinction of being the first metal album that has ever literally put me to sleep at two in the afternoon. "The Orphans of Piety" is the first of two quarter-hour tracks that find Minsk falling far off that fine line between genius and self-indulgence that so many better bands of their ilk have a hard time walking. Again, bad choices in vocal production and generally unappealing vocals and lyrics sink the first third of this track. It picks up quite a bit in the middle, but if I don't connect with a song until over six minutes in, it's just not worth my time. There are smatterings of greatness spread over this last forty minutes or so, most of them related to the band's aforementioned knack for arrangement. More often than not, the percussive and electronic experimentation pays off and provides the patient listener with a consolation prize for committing so much of their time to such a frustrating venture. To the credit of both Relapse and Gilead Media, the disc and LP are both extremely well presented and both versions sound fantastic. The artwork and layout by in-house Relapse artist/designer Orion Landau is stunning, particularly enlarged, despite its deceptively simple design. Bottom Line: There are plenty of bands whose indulgent qualities are outweighed by their ability to draw in listeners and hold that interest. The Ritual Fires of Abandonment always seems just shy of accomplishing that, frequently flirting with success but rarely finding it. Minsk would do well to rein themselves in musically while continuing to indulge their penchant for unusual instrumentation before recording again.


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dibky_ 4/14/2007 11:54:41 AM

f*cking awesome disk. Should be album of the week! Review this shit.

numerical_ 6/13/2007 8:50:46 PM

Great review. This band blows

yousuck_ 6/13/2007 8:53:34 PM

this cd was a huge dissapointment and pretty shitty follow to out from a center. ive tried so hard to like this cd and it just sucks. one of the bigger let downs of the year

ben Meeks_ 6/13/2007 8:59:00 PM

white wings is good though...

arty_mcfarty_ 6/13/2007 9:20:00 PM

its funny because i have such a system now, i see a review and i see a shitty rating and i know IMMEDIATELY that its cory..........f*ck you

arty_mcfarty_ 6/13/2007 9:20:46 PM

so this gets a 5 and hopesfall gets an 8? i think this needs to be addressed

lordofthefuckingrim_ 6/13/2007 9:43:08 PM

couldnt agree with this review more. this album was a COMPLETE letdown. relapse has failed at finding their next neurosis here....

anonymous 6/13/2007 10:26:05 PM

If this got a 5, MOTA's album deserved near the same. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

m00k_ 6/13/2007 10:40:33 PM

Shit band/album/review/reviewer.

ofgo_ 6/13/2007 10:56:23 PM

<<<< MotA

vcreationv_ 6/13/2007 11:06:09 PM

5!?? a f*cking 5? so reviews are basically just a joke now right? just to be clear. I get it. f*ck yoU everybody.

chris_ 6/13/2007 11:07:28 PM

As soon as saw the score I immediately knew it was the worst reviewer in the world, Cory. If I ever met you in person I would spit in your face, c-ckgobbler.

anonymous 6/13/2007 11:47:47 PM

instantly knew it was a cory review. this album deserves much higher than a 5. that alucard band even got a 5. lambgoat is a joke.

anonymous 6/13/2007 11:55:47 PM


truthsayer_ 6/14/2007 12:17:50 AM

hardcore // metal // 6-month late reviews

anonymous 6/14/2007 2:36:51 AM

here's my review of this review: I'm a gay, my name is cory, let me critique this awesome band, oh wait let me get this c-ck out of my ass cause I'm a gay.

poop dick_ 6/14/2007 6:05:21 AM

i as well tried to like this band and just couldnt get behind it, it failed me so hard. also you are huge gay to even throw MotA in the same sentance as this shit band, while they are slower and not as ''exciting'' as aalot of doom out there they are a spiritual experience and rule the f*cking school. but 6 month late review is pretty weak and really pointless, how about you review albums that are about to come out or just came out... ok? sweet

blackpower_ 6/14/2007 8:46:15 AM

Finally, someone tells it like it is. I've seen this band live twice, and they bore me to tears. So not good. They do have nice equipment, though! I'll give them that.

smokinghell_ 6/14/2007 9:05:17 AM

Even though this is a late review ..its dead on ...the band is just boring ....I dug some things they did but its just not enough for me to want to buy or support this band...

ipoopedinyourcloset_ 6/14/2007 9:37:12 AM

Ehh. I'd have given it a seven. Even the bands I really enjoy in this genre can sometimes be a struggle to listen through in their entirety. 60-70 minutes is a long time to spin one disc.

burzum_ 6/14/2007 9:40:04 AM

Meh, they kinda fail to hold my interest. The artwork, design, & presentation is great though, no doubt.

upperdeckered_ 6/14/2007 9:47:12 AM

I usually don't agree with Cory, but I actually do regarding this disc. I love "Out of a Center..." but this cd is just boring.

Cory'sGotHIV_ 6/14/2007 10:01:48 AM

Not as good as the previous album but I still enjoy the f*ck out of this album. Cory's just jealou cause the band doesn't have AIDS like he does and they refuse to be soiled by his POZ load.

Ash_ 6/14/2007 11:38:26 AM

I sorely disagree with this score and with people who think this album was disappointing.

RalphWiggum_ 6/14/2007 3:45:39 PM

Probably one of the first times I can remember that I have really agreed with a Cory review

WHO?_ 6/14/2007 3:48:00 PM


anonymous 6/14/2007 5:38:15 PM

people who say this album is boring shouldn't be listening to the genre. minsk does it very well. people who appreciate the genre probably will find this album far from boring

Cory_ 6/14/2007 6:01:02 PM

f*ck you gays. If you don't like my reviews go to and YOU write reviews for them. I know more about music than 90 percent of you idiots on this web site. I went to college for music and have trained my ears in this field. You all know nothing; you all do know how to bitch and complain about my on-the-dot reviews. Get f*cked.

anonymous 6/14/2007 6:14:29 PM

Cory reviewing Minsk is like Brooke Hogan reviewing Darkthrone.

badaxe_ 6/14/2007 9:08:47 PM

"There's a wealth of conceptually interesting techniques and tidbits." God your stupid, Cory. Since it wasn't been adressed, I'm guessing you didn't know that Sanford Parker was in this band. Had you of known that, I'm sure this would have at least gotten a 7...because you're a pssy.

UrbanStrike_ 6/14/2007 11:09:13 PM

I don't agree with the review or score at all.

kyle_ 6/15/2007 12:26:10 AM


anonymous 6/15/2007 8:16:49 AM

Cory gets pwned, volume #4320948320948

FlexYoFace Chase_ 6/15/2007 11:25:23 AM

This cd at least deserves a 7, I'd give it an 8/10 personally, this is some great music. Came out the same time as Rwake which also was great.. Relapse puts out quality shit most of the time. it rules.

anonymous 6/15/2007 1:07:32 PM

i can just imagine cory sitting at home "training his ears"

FIGHTFIGHT_ 6/15/2007 2:25:50 PM

this album is 8/10. stop living Cory.

weedkiller_ 6/15/2007 6:23:42 PM

It's pretty sad when you see a good band and a low score and instantly know it's Cory. Do yourself and all of us a favor and quit, you bring nothing to the table with your shit reviews. I'd bet you'd give the new Pig Destroyer a 3/10 you retard !

dibky_ 6/16/2007 12:43:24 PM

Cory glanced at my dick once while we were standing next to eachother at some urinals. Gave it a 10. Go figure.

mcgruffthedonghog_ 6/16/2007 8:44:50 PM

cory why dont you just review dudes c-cks for playgirl instead of records for lambgoat. you dont know shit about shit. ps. your butthole is bleeding.

fk_ 6/17/2007 11:12:09 AM

f*ck you gays. If you don't like my reviews go to and YOU write reviews for them. I know more about music than 90 percent of you idiots on this web site. I went to college for music and have trained my ears in this field. You all know nothing; you all do know how to bitch and complain about my on-the-dot reviews. Get f*cked. please tell me this was a joke? holy asswipe batman. cory, any gay who listens to slipknot could have written this review. you are so f*cking pretentio

anonymous 6/17/2007 11:42:55 AM

so many people on this website are so damn stupid.. good review cory i agree with you 100 percent .. i fell asleep listening to this band.

nightmare_ 6/18/2007 12:19:21 AM

"Rochelle, Rochelle"- The story of a young girl's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.

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cuntoxfuck_ 6/21/2007 8:03:52 PM

"I went to college for music and have trained my ears in this field." Yeah, and on all available evidence you failed every f*cken subject. Clean the c-m out of your ears.

yourmom_ 6/22/2007 12:44:54 AM

Oh my!! I guess I've been more of a pig than I knew!! I've eaten hot asses with one or two of those warts!! Never occurred to me it was little more than normal hole usage!! lol!! Can you pick up anything orally from them?? Not like it's a problem, but would like to know!! Maybe I'll get even harder eating them in the future!! That would be difficult since I've blasted a load or 3 in my shorts eating a hot butt!! One ex-porno star got me worked up so much, I blew in it my jock before he could get