Hybryds are, for me and many other long-time fans of industrial, the very definition of ritual music: music that embraces occult themes, repetitive drums, chanting, religious motifs, and heavy symbolism. This disc, The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive—another in a series of reissues from the respected experimental Polish label Zoharum—encapsulates those themes perfectly.
The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive gathers the trilogy of tracks initially released separately in 1991 and 1992 and adds a fourth piece to round things out. Hailing from Belgium, Hybryds have been recording since 1986 and have always focused their energy on the darker regions of ambient, industrial, and rhythmic ritual music.
The three parts included here were recorded on separate occasions in 1991, the first part being recorded live to DAT. Part one is the more ambient of the three, with choral droning serving as the primary backdrop to the proceedings, interspersed with random wailing, cymbal swells, and other percussive elements that help build on the intensity as the track progresses. It’s a simplistic approach that is surprisingly effective in its treatment.
Parts two and three are closely related, with Part two delivering nearly twenty-six minutes of drum machine patterns that alternate between delicate bells to more mechanical-themed backdrops. This version does differ from the original track released on the 1992 CD, The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive (Part 2). There are vocals provided by Yasnaïa that were not included in the original version, and while they are wordless, I feel they somewhat take away from the overall mood and pace of the piece.
Part three seems to be more of an alternate take on Part two than a fully developed piece of its own. The drum sounds are less polished, and the pace does not benefit from the shortened running time of twelve minutes. The disc ends with “Wailing for the Falling Angels,” and you can immediately tell that this piece was created with a completely different compositional approach. While the core elements remain, Hybryds fully embrace the darkness on this track, and increase the unnerving energy hinted at previously. This is genuinely one frightening piece of music.
This is not music to test the limits of your sound system to. There really is not much in the way of sonic depth to any one of these pieces as the instrumentation is so minimal. In my experience, it is best played at low to medium volume, and is best used to accompany your own rituals, no matter how mundane or exotic they might be.
01) The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive, Part 1
02) The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive, Part 2
03) The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive, Part 3
04) Wailing for the Fallen Angels