Detroit Post-Punk Trio Ritual Howls Fall into a “Dark Ceiling In Tennessee” in Their Hallucinatory New Video

From the shadowed realm of Detroit, a trio known as Ritual Howls weaves a cinematic tapestry of twangy industrial rock, igniting the dancefloor into glowing post-apocalyptic embers. This harmonic convergence is forged by Paul Bancell’s voice and guitar, Chris Samuels’ synth, samples, and drum machine, and the resonant bass of Ben Saginaw.

Within their latest single, “Dark Ceiling in Tennessee,” Bancell’s imperious vocals and Saginaw’s ponderous bass unite, crafting an abyssal, brooding symphony that transcends the anticipated. This dynamic overture shatters preconceptions, ushering forth uncharted territories of possibility. Bancell’s gritty incantation serves as a clarion call to those who defy being underestimated, proclaiming, “I’m not the fool I used to be.” Samuels’ meticulous percussion lays the hypnotic groundwork, allowing the composition to unfurl into a sweeping, epic magnum opus.

Ritual Howls by Caroline Bonarde

The song’s Michael Flanagan-helmed visual odyssey delves into the enigmatic theater of psychological warfare—the human psyche, fragile and susceptible, quivers beneath the weight of isolation’s relentless grasp. Indeed, when severed from the world’s embrace, the mind undergoes metamorphosis, traversing a gamut of emotional, cognitive, and corporeal transformations. As time’s sands slip away, the brain’s capacity to decipher and decide may falter. Sleep’s embrace may loosen, and in the direst of circumstances, the mind may conjure hallucinations, delusions, and other phantasmagoric specters. This descent into the rabbit hole is unveiled in the evocative visuals, as Bancell serenades the haunting melody. With his sultry baritone, he unlocks the door to our subconscious labyrinth.

“I wanted to show the dark, exploratory nature of self-imposed isolation,” Flanagan says of the video. “That someone can be searching for something unknown, intangible, and seemingly infinite through their reclusion. The video ended up as a sort-of cybernetic out-of-body experience. A person being taken through digital landscapes, guided by an unseen force.”

What, indeed, is this mysterious entity? Watch below and find out:

With their newly announced fifth studio album, Virtue Falters, Ritual Howls gracefully evolves their distinctive “industrial death-jangle” sound. Melding rich baritone vocals with darkly poetic lyrics, the album captures a cathartic essence, reflecting their ongoing sonic development.

Virtue Falters is a testament to the deep connection of three friends who have been creating music together for over a decade. The album’s compositions reveal a clear and matured sonic landscape, skillfully crafted through years of collaboration. Seamlessly blending the familiar with the fresh, Virtue Falters offers a captivating, otherworldly experience that showcases the band’s musical prowess and growth.

The album will be released on May 12, 2023.

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Ritual Howls will head back to Europe in May after recently returning from a massive European run in February, including an appearance at the Grauzone Festival. This time, they are bringing felte labelmates Chasms as support. 


  • 19/5/2023 London, UK @ Shacklewell Arms
  • 20/5/2023 Brussels, BE @ Jeugdhius De Schake
  • 22/5/2023 Copenhagen, DK @ Råhuset
  • 23/5/2023 Oslo, NO @ Vaterland
  • 24/5/2023 Jonkoping, SE @ The Hush Hush Club
  • 25/5/2023 Stockholm, SE @ Slatkrykan
  • 26/5/2023 Gothenburg, SE @ Hemlighten
  • 27/5/2023 Malmo, SE @ Plan B
  • 29/5/2023 Kiel, DE @ Schaubude

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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