Eagerly awaited, the fifth album from British metallers Raging Speedhorn, and the first since their return around two years ago, rips into ears and senses looking to make up for lost time. Lost Ritual has all the venom, spite, and intensity that the Corby in Northamptonshire hailing sextet is renowned for, and the quality, but all honed into their most potent and savagely stylish proposition yet. As expected Raging Speedhorn is a beast on the album, their sound an uncompromising trespass, and Lost Ritual simply the most invigorating tempest.
The past couple of years have seen the band prove themselves a live encounter no metaller should miss, continuing where they left off eight years earlier whether destroying smaller intimate venue audiences or mass crowds at festivals such as Sonisphere, Bloodstock, and Damnation. The successor to 2007 album Before The Sea Was Built, the crowd funded Lost Ritual is the first album to feature guitarist Jim Palmer and also sees vocalist Frank Regan returning nine years after his last appearance on 2005 album How the Great Have Fallen.
An anticipation feeding teaser to the Russ Russell recorded album was offered earlier this year as part of a DesertFest split with Monster Magnet via H42 Records. Fair to say, Halfway To Hell grabbed the throat and ravaged the senses to get the juices flowing for Lost Ritual and the album swiftly shows it is not a lone highlight with opener Bring Out Your Dead. Instantly a plaintive groove winds around ears, its lure quickly joined by the meaty grizzle of Dave Thompson’s bass and the mighty swipe of Gordon Morison’s sticks on skin. Right there too are nagging riffs, their tempting courting the ever gripping grooves; guitarists Jamie Thompson and Palmer casting an inescapable web. Completed by the contrasting spite loaded growls of John Loughlin and Regan, song and band devours the senses and spirit, sparking each to new heights of pleasure simultaneously. The track is a debilitating anthem, a rousing roar as contagious as it is violent and Raging Speedhorn at their very best.
Halfway To Hell takes over and now a familiar companion to ears because of its previous release again only ignites body and appetite with ease. Again riffs and rhythms unite and collide as grooves wind and vocals blaze. The band has never been low key in creating the most essential hooks in their encounters and the second song is one has some of their ripest yet, addictive twists and turns inescapable even in the passage of slow predatory enterprise stalked by bestial throat grazing snarls which emerges.
There is no let-up in force, temptation, and virulence as Motorhead erupts in ears next, the track living up to its namesake in tone and sonic dirt while as ever reaping the unique Raging Speedhorn character to big success. A brutal treat, the track makes way for the rapacious prowl of Evil Or Mental. Again the listener is quickly entangled in intrusive grooves and bruising rhythms as vocals crawl over the senses with open ill-will. They are just part of its skilfully woven net of sonic malignancy and enterprise, the encounter rocking like an antagonistic bear before its closing sonic lancing leads into the imposing and thrilling seduction of Ten Of Swords. This is no sweet talking temptress though, the song a lumbering concentrated invasion of tenebrific sound and provocative craft fuelled by a rancorous heart and appetite feeding ingenuity.
It glorious scorn gives may to the raw punk ‘n’ roll of Dogshit Blues, the track an exhausting and exhilarating stirring of body and spirit, and in turn the thick aural incitement of The Hangman. In tone alone, the song is a dark and murderous affair, voice and emotion only adding to its cancerous impact and though musically, it maybe lacks the cache of hooks and twists found in many of its companions, the track cannot help offering another lofty peak within Lost Ritual.
The next up Shit Outta Luck is pure belligerent and inflammatory rock ‘n’ roll, a chest beating incitement for body and soul that will leave all out of breath in energy and bliss. With swinging grooves, lethal beats, and fiery intent, the track is magnificent and swiftly equalled in success by the compelling toxicity and invasive invention of Comin’ Home.
Completed by the enthralling Unleash The Serpent, the darkest and most imaginative track on the album, Lost Ritual shows Raging Speedhorn bigger, bolder, and more creatively belligerent than ever. It is also one of the year’s mightiest rewards from a band world metal needs more than ever.
Lost Ritual is out now digitally and on CD and vinyl @ https://ragingspeedhorn.bandcamp.com/album/lost-ritual and other stores.
Pete RingMaster 12/08/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright