Blackened Ritual – Blackened Ritual

Blackened Ritual
“Blackened Ritual”
Released July 16th 2015
Thrash/metal
Self-released

 Blackened Ritual - Blackened Ritual

It might just be because this a local band who I have watched build up from their very beginnings, but by Cthulhu this album has been an incredibly long time coming! Having just won the Scottish Metal To The Masses, there’s some pressure on Blackened Ritual for this to be solid gold, too. Cool cover? Check! Sound production above ‘demo level’? Check! Riffs? Oh yes indeed!

If you were ever stuck wishing that Lamb Of God would just go back to their early aggressiveness, this could be just the ticket. Added to this, the Testament-infused thrash ethic of the group, combined with the ever pervading southern US bounce that sticks to many Scottish bands, and choruses to die for, delivers something which, while not genre-destroying, is definitely unique enough to be undeniably Blackened Ritual, and Blackened Ritual alone. In years to come, other bands may well be imitating them.

Remembering these guys from the extensive period during which they struggled to find a vocalist, it’s fantastic to see that, not only have they sourced an absolute gem in front-man Tom Simpson, but the musicians at the core of the band’s sound have leapt forward immensely in terms of song-writing and playing finesse. There’s a thoroughly professional swagger to this debut, fuming with attitude and atmosphere that many further along in the game would struggle to compete with.

As a guitarist, there are already a good few riffs on here that I would love to get my teeth stuck into, and that is arguably a quality that could take a band to the next level; the feeling of wanting to engage in their world in more than just the capacity of listening to the record. It wouldn’t be the furthest stretch of the imagination to think that others may feel the same, and I can vividly picture swathes of metal crazed gig-goers shouting along to each track. I’m already itching to hear the next one.

4/5

Paul Macmillan

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