|Review: Ritual Servant - Metallum Evangelii|
Label: Roxx Records
Year released: 2019
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: June 9, 2019
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Christian lyrical themes in Metal have always been a controversial subject, and many will hate any Christian band on principle. I bring this up because Ritual Servant are very clearly a pro-Christian Thrash band. It's difficult to say how much the album's lineup keeps the faith, as bassist Brian McKenzie was a session bassist and Charley Shackelford only did some of the leads, but vocalist/guitarist Patrick Best and drummer Seth Boone clearly believe what they preach, and for some that's enough to condemn them and their music. I can't say I've ever been too keen on Christ-praising lyrics, but I prefer to let the music speak for itself, and thankfully, Metallum Evangelii has more to offer than just praises to the bearded zombie in the sky (apologies to all worshippers of said bearded zombie).
This South Carolina-based outfit plays a crisp, heavy, occasionally epic style of Thrash that's often (ahem) catchy as Hell and calls to mind decidedly non-Christian acts like Hobbes Angel of Death, Slayer, and Sacred Reich. Best and Boone clearly love their old-school Thrash, and songs like the Hobbes-esque "Among the Wolves", the pounding epic "The Sacrifice", and the crushing album highlight "Woe is Me" have enough pummeling riffs and Best's bestial vocals to prove their music means just as much to them as the message behind it.
I had my reservations based on the lyrical content alone, but while it didn't make a convert of me, it did give me a good headbanging time. Thrash fans that can get past the band's beliefs should definitely give this a listen.
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