Released: 2007, Relapse Records
I’ll be the first to admit it: I am not the target audience for Minsk. This Peoria, Illinois based band descends from the same sickened sonic family tree as Neurosis, Isis, and Pelican and, while it would be unfair to say that I hate those bands, I am definitely not into their drone-infused, meandering take on heavy music.
Thus it was with heavy trepidation that I first spun THE RITUAL FIRES OF ABANDONMENT, Minsk’s third full-length album, and first for Relapse Records. The album’s first track, “Embers”, was actually a pleasant surprise as it did contain the expected slow-build and repetitive structure, its constant drive (propelled by Anthony Couri’s relentless drums) grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It wasn’t quite enthralling, but it did hold my interest. The same can be said for the following song, “White Wings”. Unfortunately, the rest of the album completely lost me. As I said, I’m just not into this style of music and I do not have the patience to sit through close to an hour of this stuff, though I do get what the band is doing.
Needless to say, Minsk will be a love it or hate it type of band for most listeners. While their music rife with interesting little bits that float above the murk, THE RITUAL FIRES OF ABANDONMENT will be largely impenetrable to listeners that are not already fans of this form of music. For those that enjoy this genre, you can easily call this a 4/5 or better and safely make your purchase, but the rest are advised to move on.