Release date: February 21st 2020. Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl
Ritual King - S/T - Tracklisting
2. No Compromise
5. Dead Roads
7. Black Hills
Jordan Leppitt - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Dan Godwin - Bass
Gareth Hodges - Drums & Backing Vocals
I have to applaud Ripple Music for signing Ritual King to their ever-growing ranks and bringing the band to my attention. As I haven’t heard of these guys before and what a great album the band have released for their self-titled debut album. Ritual King play a blend of Seventies Hard Rock with the band mixing traces of Blues Rock, Psych Rock, Classic Doom, Stoner Metal and Proto-Metal into their music. The end result is a trippy kaleidoscopic ride into the heavier realms of Hard Rock/Metal.
The album gets off to a great start with the superb opening song – Valleys – as Ritual King let fly with stunning guitar riffs that are steeped in Black Sabbath sounds before adding a more spacier abstract effect. The vocals are top-notch Doom Rock/Stoner Metal fare with Ritual King proving all their worth with Progressive grooves leading the way. The song sounds quite vintage and modern at the same time. The OTT lyrics give Ritual King another spaced out dimension to their music.
Second song – No Compromise – opens with a slower Blues Rock groove with a slight Jazzy Progressive sound with the band showing their musical technical ability for the few moments of the song before exploding into the standard Doom/Stoner Metal Sound Ritual King will use for the rest of the album. Though it’s good to hear to experience the Blues Rock influence the band use so well. This song is distinctively heavy but with a few mellow parts along the way.
Third song – Headspace – carries on with the slow-paced Blues Rock/Jazz vibe with the band adding heavy drum beats that signals something heavier is upon us and then the heavy psychedelic spaced out rhythms appear. The song becomes grander in scale with the dual vocals of Jordan and Gareth with the riffs being more direct with the rhythm section laying down the groundwork for Ritual King to thrive upon.
Fourth song – 602 – is a more straight-forward foray of Doom/Stoner Rock from the band and being purely instrumental it becomes one of the standout songs on the album. As Ritual King play an epic style of Instrumental Rock/Metal with flashes of Progressive Rock being used for maximum effect. The instrumental work is stunning as the band left me wanting more hearing this style of music.
The final part of the album which contains the following songs - Dead Roads, Restrain and Black Hills proves why I love the underground Doom/Stoner Rock scene as Ritual King have a fearless attitude towards their music. As they play a rich blend of different styles of music that hold your attention with excellent vocals and song-writing to match.
This album has quite a varied sound that you wouldn’t expect. The distorted sounds that are added to the final part of the album on Dead Roads for example brings an extra layer of heaviness that allows Ritual King to impress even more. The production is fantastic throughout and I’ve said this countless times but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Ripple Music. So if you need another reason why to check out this album it’s because being on Ripple Music is a sign of quality.
Though, this is Ritual King’s time to shine and they have released a brilliantly entertaining album that does everything right that you would want from a debut album. If you’re looking for action-packed sounds from a band creating music on their own terms, then Ritual King have all the answers for you right here.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo. Ritual King debut album will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via RippleMusic from Feb 21st 2020.