Hour Of 13 – The Ritualist – Review

Hark back to the days of 70′s Black Sabbath, when the amoral witchery of their newly spawned sound breathed a heathen atmosphere to send shock waves across the musical world.

                         

More than 40 years down the line we’re still experiencing the tremors created by the diverse explosion that ensued after their self-titled album. But many worshippers have flirted dangerously on the borders of imitation when laying their tracks to rest, making their zest for the metal Zion all too obvious.

Thankfully, for Hour Of 13, there’s a respectful homage to Sabbath that no one can deny, but in their blend of traditional doom there’s a dark and energetic blend that will strike a chord in many NWOBHM heads.

In the studio Hour Of 13 consist of Phil Swanson, who stirs some fleeting vocals to match the intensity of the sacrilegious force and Chad Davis who whacks out the mighty riffs on guitar, bass and also performs drums.

It seems like an unlikely track to begin the album but The Gathering, with it’s hazy fog of slow-struck, whomping power-chords catches you off guard to reel you into what becomes a pleasurable listen.

Self-titled The Ritualist continues the theme of unexpectedness for the listener, when a set of beautiful echoing harmonies beseech the disgruntled, edgy and sinister riffs.  Get further into the album and you’ll soon realise that it’s the consistency of Davis’ heavy-laden guitar playing that is the most enjoyable aspect of the album, especially with the tenacity of the Priest-esque Demons All Around Me.

It isn’t the most groundbreaking record you’ll hear, but don’t let that take anything away from an effort that Chad Davis and Phil Swanson should be proud of.

7.5/10

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