Album Review: Ritual King – Ritual King

Album Review: Ritual King - Ritual King

Album Review: Ritual King - Ritual King
Reviewed by Neil Bolton

While sat in the Dove and Rainbow pub in Sheffield in 2018, before entering the HRH Doom vs Stoner festival, a friend of mine exclaims as he simultaneously swallows his beer “Oh we need to see Ritual King today”. I reply with the obvious question “Ok, why? Are they any good?” His repose is this “I don’t know, but I was on an internet forum before we set off and a lots of people said they were very good and we should check them out”. I checked the running order and they didn’t clash with anybody that I had planned to see. So who are we to argue with “lots of people”.

On that day this trio were amazing, they gave it every thing. More in the Stoner camp than Doom, their bluesy guitar rock was a most welcome surprise. I obtained both E.P. releases 'Elixer' from 2016 and 'Earthrise' from 2018. From that point I suppose you could call me a fan. I have been eagerly awaiting a full length release from these boys since then, and I don’t mind telling you a was nervous and hopeful when I came to this review copy.

Fortunately the first seconds of the first track washes away any doubts and replaces them with smiles and joy. Opening track 'Valleys' starts with guitars pleasantly fuzzing away leading into the main tune. If you are a fan of Icelands The Vintage Caravan, you will be in a happy place.

Album Review: Ritual King - Ritual King

Although I like the aforementioned E.P.s a lot, already on this album the band feel and sound a bit more experienced and mature. 'No Compromise' begins like a 60’s track my Dad might listen to (this is no bad thing). It soon booms into a riff to remind you its not the 60’s. Jordan Leppitt’s vocals swirl around his magnificent guitar skills and Gareth Hodges excellent drum work.

The title track 'Headspace' puts Dan Goodwin’s bass playing up front and centre and already this album has become more than I could ever hope for. I love it. The instrumental track '602' rocks out right from the outset, and I am left wondering if this is named after a traffic laden road that leads into their home town of Manchester. 'Dead Roads' does not let up with the song writing skills, nor does 'Restrain' the next track. Wah wah pedals used to full effect. The final track of this winning album is 'Black Hills' chugging away a bit like a thrash band at the the outset this track, completing a very accomplished album dripping with incredible musicianship and impressive song writing.

If you have any love for the stoner sound of Orange Goblin, Blues Pills or even Kyuss, you will regret for the rest of your days not checking out this album.

 

Ritual King release their self titled album on February 21st via Ripple Music

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