John Sherwood
The Ritual series of albums

The Ritual series is a set of four double 
albums that make up a complete 'story' 
like a huge concept album

Part 1: The Ritual
- released 2003
Part 2: Mystical Time Machine
- released 2010
Part 3: Ceremonies
- released 2013
Part 4: Arrival at Infinity
- released 2018

All albums are presented in slim jewel cases
with printed inserts, pictures, text etc.

Additionally there are three "follow-on" albums ...

Beyond Infinity
The Ritual Live in Nottingham

The Ritual
An epic themed work in four parts, each building towards the album concept - Space, Earth, Man, Ritual. 
This is a huge ambient masterwork exploring the origins of life and its ultimate purpose - were we created, 
and for why, and where are we going, is there a cosmic significance ?

This is a two album set with a bonus CD containing a some alternate versions

Download here 

Tracks ....
Part 1 - SPACE 
(total time 15:05)
Signals - something's coming, sending a message in advance
The Abyss of Space - from a very long way away
Folding Space - but they know a way of travelling
Passing through the Event Horizon - using a source of unimaginable power
Space Requiem - music to accompany the journey

Part 2 - EARTH 
(total time 15:17)
Oceans - something living in there that we don't know about
Winds - the endless power that we must learn to use
Storm - the power of nature on display
Glacier - slow and unstoppable, like life itself

Part 3 - MAN 
(total time 13:45)
Tribe - man needs to join together to survive
Calls - but communication is the key to evolution
Machines - allow man to acheive things beyond his strength
Time - where man begins to measure events in the cosmos

Part 4 - RITUAL 
(total time 20:02)
Semblance - something is forming but we don't know what it is
Fugue - man puts a religious face onto the inexplicable
Mystic Circle - but a more ancient force is at work
Apparition - the secrets of the universe are revealed
Ascention - then rising up into space, from whence we came
Departure - now leaving on a spaceward journey
Spores in Space - until arriving at another planet, somewhere ....

(total time 6:55)
Ritual Epilogue - closing down the Ritual

'The Ritual'  two album set also has a Bonus Album,
containing different interpretations.

1. Time Machines 
Space segment alternative version 
Mystic Ritual  11:23
4. The Ritual (Guitar version) by Steve Munslow 15:06







Mystical Time Machine

CD + DVD set         Part 2 of "The Ritual"

This is a CD+DVD set containing the audio version of the album on the CD, and then a movie DVD
based on the album and using it as the soundtrack. There is also a full colour printed insert

Download here 
CD tracks
1. Magnetic Fields 5:30
2. The Hands of Paul Delvaux 5:49
3. Indefinite Divisibility 18:33
4. Birth of Liquid Desires 5:08
5. Men Shall Know Nothing of This 7:10
6. Europe After the Rains 5:12
7. The Enigma of the Hour 20:22
8. Elegy for Rrose SÚlavy 3:36
DVD contents
Movie based on album as soundtrack 72:18
DVD region 2 PAL

Youtube links

Indefinite Divisibility (extract)  

The Hands of Paul Delvaux  

Magnetic Fields  



2 CD set         Part 3 of "The Ritual"

This is a double album where disc 1 is the main Arrival album, 
and disc 2 contains alternate versions etc.

Download here 
CD 1
1. Prelude 3:29
2, Ceremony 1 22:03
3. Ancient Wisdom 9:53
4. Ceremony 2 20:02
5. Ceremony 3 11:27
CD 2
1. C3 Variant 10:11
2. Mystical Time Machine
    live at Awakenings 25 Oct 08
3. The Ritual (concise version)
    by Steve Munslow
4. Prelude Variant 6:25


Arrival at Infinity

2 CD set         Part 4 of "The Ritual"

This is a double album where disc 1 is the main Arrival album, 
and disc 2 contains alternate versions etc.

CD 1
1. Arrival at Infinity 4:29
2. Infinite Divisibility     23:11
3. The Secret Way   34:48
4. Fanfare for the End of Time 1:48
1. Infinite Divisibility (Variant 23:45
2. Arrival at Infinity (Longform)  30:23

Download here 


Beyond Infinity

2 CD set         "Arrival at Infinity" continued to, erm, infinity

This is a double album where disc 1 contains a revised and slightly longer version
of Secret Way, and also of Hands of Paul Delvaux (from Mystical Time Machine) 
Disc 2 contains alternate versions of Infinite DIvisibility and Fanfare

CD 1
1. The Secret Different Way     40:11
2. The Extended Hands of Paul Delvaux 23:11
CD 2
1. Infinite Divisibility (Ambient 30:39
2. Fanfare for the End of Time (Longform) 30:23

Download here 


2 CD set         Taking the "Space" part of The Ritual into another dimension

This is a double album where disc 1 contains a new version of Space, and a journey 
beyond that into outer space
. Disc 2 contains the huge single track going totally spacey

CD 1
1. Space 26:25
2. Outer Space 47:16
CD 2
1. Interstellar Space 67:53

Download here 

The Ritual Live in Nottingham

Recorded live at Peggers, Nottingham, on the 3rd October 2004, 
at the inaugural event of Ambientlive Awakenings on a cold and
rainy Sunday night. The music is warm and friendly and a little 
spacey and mysterious. 

Download here 
1. Atomsphere / Beyond Andromeda / 
    Dream Sequence
The Ritual
2. Space 9:34
3. Earth 15:01
4. Man 9:37
5. Ritual 14:08
6. Epilogue 5:47

John firstly plays some older material, the extended and quite 
tinkly 'Atomsphere' taking up most of the first section. And then 
begins the main event 'The Ritual' which takes nearly an hour.

Reviews ...

Mystical Time Machine

The next long awaited album from John Sherwood's Ritual project lands, finally, in 2010, with a bang. 
A double disc set - the hour long album and accompanying film - comes at a very affordable price, and 
is definitely worth a purchase. 

'Magnetic Fields' starts the album on a highly experimental note, with sequences, effects, whooshes, 
clangs and other sounds appearing seemingly out of the blue. A cold wind sound carries this electronic 
collage into 'The Hands of Paul Delvaux', with a mournful synth drone, and some beautiful melodies. 
A particularly pensive piece. Without break to catch one's thoughts, a sequence appears, marking the 
start of Indefinite Divisibility. Over the course of eighteen minutes, the sequence morphs and swerves, 
chords, melodies and textures come and go, and the whole pieces keeps up a thrilling momentum, 
never tiring or boring the listener. Probably my favourite sequence-led piece so far here.

In stark contrast, Birth of Liquid Desires follows with low, reverberating drones, muffled percussion and 
quietly growly synths. One of the most contemporary sounding pieces John has recorded and an 
excellent mood piece. Men Shall Know Nothing of This keeps the ambient mood, but adds a light, 
dreamy sequence and comes out sounding similar to earlier (4m33s) work, such as Dark/Light.

The album is brilliantly segued, with one track flowing into another, and Europe After The Rains floats 
in with a suitably light, fresh sound. More sequences, more drones, more reverbed sounds, lovely 
harmonic content. The cold wind returns at the end, reminding us that this is a chilling, dramatic album, 
in time for the record's second epic, the 20 minute The Enigma of the Hour. A dramatic, slightly unsettling 
sequence appears and drives the song forward. The track is less energetic than Indefinite Divisibility, 
and more hypnotic with its sinister bubbling sequence. 
Rounding out the album is Elegy for Rrose SÚlavy, which closes the record on a suitably melancholy, 
mournful note, with a simple synth melody.

The accompanying DVD consists of a film with the album as its soundtrack, and contains a varied array 
of imagery, still and moving, from space photographs and mystical imagery, to the surreal paintings of 
Duchamp and Dali, a recurring theme in Sherwood's music.
All in all, Mystical Time Machine is a marvellous record - moody, atmospheric, yet lively and enthralling. 
This is the most contemporary sounding Sherwood album, yet also heavily displays its Berlin School roots. 

Ross Baker