Despite the chaos of the pandemic, Naples, Italy-based Dead Rituals has still managed to be prolific, dropping a new EP and a handful of singles. In addition, the group released a stripped-down version of their track “When the Lights Are Out” via YouTube. The video is set in an old Brooklyn loft and features frontman Andrea Cassese sat simply with an acoustic guitar. His emotive lyricism is on full display here as he sings, “It takes you back to your barren rage/There’s a wolf in the room but I won’t get scared.”
The video’s simplicity echoes the music: black-and-white bare sections of stairwell and old workhouse loft and Cassese’s simple, melodic acoustic stylings blend beautifully to lend even more heft to the bare-bones version of the track. By contrast, the original version of the track, featured on Dead Rituals second EP, II, is lush and layered, using drum machines, keyboards and a more meticulous instrumentation to pull listeners into a darkened, hazy dream state. The EP version is far less austere and seems to exude a warmth, quite distinct from the acoustic version. The song is the same but each version lends itself to a different mood, both equally bewitching, yet each is striking in its own way.
You can hear more from Dead Rituals on their Bandcamp page.