Hour Of 13 - The Ritualist

Doom might be the original genus of heavy metal, yet it is also the strand that has evolved the least; Hour Of 13's second album The Ritualist is a polished, well-rounded affair that has a lot on offer to please the doom aficionado, but it is striking just how much it echoes both the first wave invented by Black Sabbath, and the 80s revival headed by the likes of Candlemass and Trouble. Opening pair, the title track along with intro piece 'The Gathering', crawl along slower than a snail in a mire, every bombastic bass-driven riff drilling deeper than the last and although the pace does pick up a smidgen by 'Naked Star', the oppressive atmosphere never lets up even as album highlight 'Soldiers Of Satan' verges on the melodious. Ultimately you are left wondering at the merit of such an obvious homage to legends of yore, but for those that love their music slow, dark and heavy, The Ritualist is still a highly enjoyable listen.



out of 10
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