Tuesday 20 October 2015

STARLIGHT RITUAL.... album review

Remember those early days of doom, when bands like CandlemassSolitude Aeturnus and Solstice took a little NWOBHM slowed it down, added some atmosphere  and created something a little sinister and creepy, a time before vocalists were possessed by demons and singers could SING!
Well if you do, then when you drop the needle, push the play button or click the mouse on this little beauty from Canada's Starlight Ritual, it will feel like you have just stepped back in time.

This music is often called "Epic" and this album fits that description perfectly.. From the deep fluid bass line, supplied by Le Forge, that opens the albums opening number "The Triangle" to the operatic vocal note that brings "Seal The Light" to its conclusion not a note or a drum fill is wasted, the songs shifting from one dynamic to another with effortless ease. Guitarists J-F Bertrand and Dan Toupin when not laying down a unison wall of fuzz and distorted riffage swap lead and rhythm duties, their solos swooping and swirling over and around the tight solid rhythms of Le Forge and drummer Lou Weed (these can't be real names). Vocalists who can sing with the clean tones and power needed to compete in this genre of metal are getting a little thin on the ground of late but Starlight Ritual have found a gem in, the aptly named, Damien Ritual. Possessing the "air raid siren" power of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson combined with the epic tones of Ronnie James DioRitual's voice dominates the albums four tracks whether he's smashing wine glasses with his impossibly high notes or getting a little down and dirty at the lower end of his range. This guy has a real talent.

It could be said that the epic doom genre has maybe seen its best days pass it by, what with the emergence and popularity of the more extreme doom sub-genres, but with bands out there like Starlight Ritual still flying the banner and producing albums of this depth and quality maybe we could see a resurgence. Now where did i put those Count Raven albums?

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