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Hour Of 13 : The Ritualist

Once again, we have a case of a Black Metalhead (here, Chad Davis of Demoncy/Father Befouled/Profane Grace) showing us his love for Traditional Doom. In some circles, he would be labelled as 'trendy', but if all bandwagonning bands were displaying such high quality music, that would shut up some mouths. Helped by wizard guitarist Phil Swanson (Seamount/Upwards The Endtime/Vestal Claret), Chad creates here a kind of 'best of Occult Doom' album.

Simply put, this is exactly how Occult Heavy Doom should ALWAYS sound. Roots are firmly planted in the tradition started by the first Black Sabbath album, with more than a few nods to the Dark prog kings of the 70's (say Coven and Jacula), and their followers in the 80's (more than once, the Reagers-era of Saint-Vitus comes to mind). There's even some hints towards more 'modern' sound, like the solo of Soldiers Of Satan sounding strikingly like the intro to Voivod's forgotten classic Fix My Heart.

Basically, this is what makes The Ritualist so good. It never forgets to pay tribute to the old ways, yet it manages to use them in some new twists. Every song conveys images of B-movies sabbaths, of forbidden rituals performed in locked rooms ful of dusty books, naked ladies on altars and cover pictures for 60's magazines like 'Bitchcraft' and 'Witches and Bitches'.

Either you're a fan of Occult Rock/Metal like Death SS and Antonius Rex, or a Trad. Doomster who bows down to Pentagram and Saint-Vitus, or intrigued by the mix of both worlds, be assured that you'll find in this record everything you like in the genre(s) and a bit more. No shit, Hour Of 13 have released here one hell of an exciting album. Approved by Lucifer himself.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. The Gathering
2. The Ritualists
3. Naked Star
4. Demons All Around Me
5. Possession
6. Soldiers Of Satan
7. Evil Inside
8. The Crawlspace

Duration : Approx. 48 minutes

Visit the Hour Of 13 bandpage.

Reviewed on 10-06-2010 by Laurent Lignon
Forever Autumn
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