In the current landscape of heavy metal, many bands focus on image, or having that perfect sounding recording, but most fall short on the total package. The Ritualist, featuring Chad Davis, the mastermind behind underground titans Hour of 13 and Night Magic encompass the sound, passion, and precision of the most skilled surgeon on the bands debut offering. Chad is a metal workhorse, and a one man wrecking crew when it comes to his vision. Dude can flat out play the shit out of any instrument, and as is the case with Hour of 13, that is once again on display on Hells’s Doom.
To call this release by The Ritualist a demo, is a grave injustice to Chad. For all practical purposes this is a demo, but is beyond demo quality on so many levels. First and foremost, from start to finish, it has an epic feel. “Awaken The Eibon” begins with an old school riff of eeriness and ear shattering heaviness circa 1989 in the vein of Candlemass’s “Tales of Creation”. “Lament For Dying Dreams” is an unknowing nod to Chuck Schuldineresque harmonies for the first three minutes, turning it’s attention to the unmanned tank sitting idly by begging for some brave soul to take it for a ride. That is exactly what happens, for when the riff awakens, it leaves nothing but destruction in it’s wake. “The Suffering – Sulphur Spirits” closes out “Hell’s Doom” with a downtrodden incarnation blasting into Davis penchant for bringing the heavy. Not only does Davis show he is a master musician, but his vocals have a feel that will take you right in the middle of the picture the ears so vividly paint for the listener.
The best way to sum up what Hell’s Doom offers is that it is not nearly enough. Hands down this is a 10/10 release that needs major attention. It has that feeling of early Candlemass, the special feeling that you would have when first listening to Venom’s “Black Metal”, the raw power of Celtic Frost, and the cold aura that shocked the world when Mercyful Fate had a dangerous meeting. That is a perfect way to describe the first “ritual” that Davis bestows upon the world……It has a feel of danger to it. It makes you think to yourself, should I be listening to this? Heaviness is an attitude, a state of mind. It is a feeling that comes over you upon each listening that gives an emotional attachment. After speaking with Chad, and the rest of the fellas in Night Magic at Hell’s Headbash last year, I got the feel that Davis and company felt they had something to prove. They were hungry and hell bent on destruction as they renamed Hour of 13 and were poised to level the previous expectations of Ho13 in the underground. The Ritualist was something that no one saw coming. The overall tone of contempt that Davis brings to the ears of many is a warning, for the notion of complicity and boring rehashes of yesterday will not be tolerated. The highest ranking Soldier of Satan is coming for the underground….. and it will never be the same again.
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1 – Awaken The Eibon
2 – Lament For Dying Dreams
3 – The Suffering – Sulphur Spirits
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