(High Roller Records)
Another fine gatefold LP, a split LP this time with the 2 participants SONIC RITUAL and SANCTUARY IN BLASPHEMY. Both Swedish bands, both related to the Doom Metal genre, in a way at least. SONIC RITUAL offer a mighty powerful and atmospheric carpet with great riffs in the old BLACK SABBATH vein during the Ozzy-days (well, hard to describe, but that’s what came to my mind…). All in all this is, as usual for High-Roller-Records, a fuckin’ outdated musical experience, haha. Anyway, everything in SONIC RITUAL is played authentic and the guys surely know how to play that type of music. Well, did I say Doom Metal? If you consider Doom Metal to be slow all the time, than SONIC RITUAL is not your average Doom Metal band, just listen to ‘Take The Edge Off’ which is a fast midtempo rocker. Next to the music with its hints of BLACK SABBATH here you have vocals which are clear and high, but far away from being as intense as Ozzy’s. The vocals are mixed more in the background and fit to the overall musical experience really well. The 70s are obvious in SONIC RITUAL, in sound, riffs and in their logo. Well done. Side B offers 6 tracks from SANCTUARY IN BLASPHEMY (SIB). ‘Integrity Of Evil’ starts with a melody played on a hammondorgan before the guitars begin. Cool start. The vocals are this time the hoarse version. SIB equal to SONIC RITUAL are a Doom band, too, in the common sense of this musical genre, but whereas SONIC RITUAL are the more traditional 70s band, SIB are sludgier, less melodic, more groovy and dark. ENTOMBED at their rockin’ days come to my mind… Hm, SIB might hate me for that, haha. Little improvement can be requested from their singer as he’s just growling hoarse. For a first release still quite good. Musically I like both bands a lot as they play significant music which can’t be expected on every release nowadays. As SONIC RITUAL make more points with their singer I’d say that they are my favourites on this release. This is a recommendable release for all Doom maniacs and vinyl junkies in their rows as I’m not sure if a CD release is and will be available. Once more limited to 500 pieces and available through www.hho-records.de. Band contacts www.myspace.com/sonicritualofficial, www.myspace.com/sanctuaryinblasphemy.