(9/10) Cleveland based metallers Ritual might have been forgotten over time, or not even be noticed in the early ‘90s. The band faced many name changes after having started the band in 1985. Firedance, Rotterdam, Torment, Tormentor, Ritual Of Torment and Ritual, these aren’t monikers of different bands. It’s always the same band and it shows that it wasn’t an easy exercise to follow the quintet from Ohio.
The line-up of the band was and is rather stable while the list of releases is rather overseeable. In other words, Ritual released a debut in 1993, followed by an EP two years later and that was it. ‘Trials of Torment’ though was an excellent album that unfortunately didn’t help the band to reach out to a wider crowd. Also the writer of these lines has to admit having missed the record.
Now it’s time to close the gap since it’s Pure Steel Records that reissues the album. The entirely remastered version brings excellent US metal to the table. The earlier Fates Warning and Liege Lord are references that help to get a bit of an idea of what to expect of this cool but unknown classic.
Heavy riffs, furious solos, well-placed breaks and excellent vocals characterize an album that’s a smasher from the underground. Juan Ricardo is a real metal siren with a wider vocal range, which includes high-pitch screams as well as he adds a dark vibe to his intonation. ‘Trials of Torment’ slept in the gloomy shadows and hopefully it’s this re-release that provides the right spotlight this album and the band deserves.
- She Rides The Sky
- Where I Belong
- Addicted To Fear
- The Forgotten
- Pain Of It All
- In The Dungeon
- Obscured By Twilight
- City Of The Dead
- Beyond The Sea (Bonustrack)
- The Forgotten (Live 2018, Bonustrack)
Label: Pure Steel Records
Genre: US Metal
Release Date EU: March 15th, 2019