They've got that name for a reason folks, so as you can guess, Ritual Rites is all about classic doom metal in the vein of Black Sabbath or Candlemass, with soaring female vocals and plenty of occult themes. Formed by multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis (Hour of 13), who contributes guitar, bass, and drums to the album, the line-up is completed by guitarist Joey Downs (Altar Blood) and vocalist Anette Gulbrandsen (Nattsol, Leaves Eyes). This debut EP features just three tracks of brooding, occult doom, long on tremendous riffs, pounding drums, and Anette's powerful vocal delivery. The title track just crushes, and as heavy as the riffs are, Anette's vocals just blow the roof off the house. "Nightside Eternal" is as bruising as anything off those first few Candlemass albums, but just substitute Gulbrandsen's soaring alto/soprano vocals for Messiah Marcolin's operatic wailing. And, those riffs on "Ancient's Curse" just pummel and bludgeon, leaving no doubt that you've been hit by a doom metal freight train.
Really good stuff, and it's a shame that there's only 3 tracks and roughly 20 minutes of music, as any doom fan will be wanting more. With material this good, I can only imagine what The Sabbathian will have in store for us next. Another winner from the Svart Records family.
1) Ancient's Curse
2) Ritual Rites
3) Nightshade Eternal