Sanctifying Ritual - Sanctifying Ritual
Iron Bonehead Productions
Death Metal
9 songs (41:26)
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from Germany and playing together for over a decade since forming in 2008, this self-titled album is Sanctifying Ritual's debut full-length. And fans of old-school death metal that walks its own path will find much to like, even if the band's rigorous traditionalism in terms of style holds them back from a wider audience. A nicely raw production places this in the mausoleum on the cover art and the music itself goes on to make this album seem over thirty years older than it actually is, elements of early thrash and even NWOBHM in the riffing here and there giving flavour as things slow for a breakdown or speed up into blackened rumble on opening stormer (Tales of the) Sinister Appearance. There's a touch of Soulside Journey-era Darkthrone to proceedings at certain points, although the chaotic early Morbid Angel gallop of Curse of Evil threatens to walk its own twistedly melodic path.

Elsewhere, although there are touches of melody to, say, Obsessed by Gore, it's closer to early Autopsy than anything you'd recognise as melodic death metal, even with the creepily atmospheric soloing. And the thrashier moments, especially in the second half of the album, have a distinct early Sepultura-esque vibe, those thrashing riffs in Carved in Rotten Remains just one example, the following Stained With Rotten Blood even moreso thanks to that acoustic intro. A little more blackened vim to the speedy Throne of Evil Atrocity makes it a late-tracklisting highlight, especially worth mentioning. If there's a fault here it's that some songs go on just a little too long, the general four to nearly six minute song length being at least a minute too long in some cases. It's a minor gripe, however; the band choose riffs well and don't let any outstay their welcome. And at just over forty minutes in length this packs a lot in, although the songwriting could use a little more magic at points, particularly by the time you reach the final two tracks. This will have plenty of underground appeal, however, and those who miss the olden days of the metallic underground will be in rapture.

Killing Songs :
Curse of Evil, Carved in Rotten Remains, Throne of Evil Atrocity
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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