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Review: Hour of 13 - The Ritualist
Hour of 13
The Ritualist

Label: Northern Silence Productions
Year released: 2010
Duration: 48:22
Tracks: 8
Genre: Doom Metal


Review online: April 30, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers' Rating
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Rated 1.66/5 (33.1%) (87 Votes)

Hour of 13 is yet another band that wants to follow the Black Sabbath school of doom. I've heard so many bands of this type and every single time I ended up wondering why the need of smoking too much weed during the recording process. Too often when a band plays this type of metal, they do it excessively slow or they make it a chore of listening to their records. Therefore, I expected this to be another example of "stoner" metal but thankfully that is not the case with The Ritualist.

You see the things that differentiates Hour of 13 from bands like Iron Man and Sleep are the riffs and the overall guitar work, the band keep things moving and interesting. The songwriting talent of this two-man group is amazing, they manage to sound retro and vintage without sucking. With tracks like the awesome "The Crawlspace" and "Soldier of Satan" they show how crushing they can be. But really that statement can be applied to most of the songs with the exception of the boring intro "The Gathering" and "Demons all Around Me".

Like I said before, this is a two-man band – Chad Davis handles all the instruments and he does a great job, most notably on the guitar. Phillip Swanson does the vocals and while he isn't a world class singer, in fact he is sometimes off key, I couldn't imagine another person singing this material. Lyrically this isn't typical for a band of the genre, focusing more on Satan and the occult rather than mourning and loss. Production-wise this is a cool job, it doesn't sound polished or very slick, in other words perfect for this kind of metal.

There are negatives about The Ritualist. For one I don't recommend it for every day listening. This is a good album but a lot of concentration is needed to fully appreciate it. There is variety here, but it is very subtle (except for the leads) and there is nothing groundbreaking, just old school retro metal. If you like that, then you can't go wrong by picking this up, I just don't think it is a masterpiece.

More about Hour of 13...
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Review: Hour of 13 (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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