RITUAL STEEL - IMMORTAL (Killer Metal Records)
(Review by Officer Nice)
I know Ritual Steel from former albums. I have never been the biggest fan of German Metal but the fact Sasha Maurer used to play in this band made me discovered them. Sasha is a man that used to work for Hellion Records and he’s a yearly visitor of the Keep It True and Headbangers Open Air Festivals. I saw the band once on stage in my hometown and they did it pretty good. Also their previous works were good but I suppose that’s no surprise if you notice members of Ivory Tower and Exiled are part of this formation. Exiled? Yes, that awesome US Metal band from whom I have three CD’s in my collection. The last was dated 2007 and ever since we didn’t hear anything from them anymore. Well, there’s Z-Iron, a band that is placed on hold because some members can be found right here, on Ritual Steel.
Enough stuff to discuss about. What we can’t dispute is that there’s talent enough to bring a good album. I was curious, after all I have always respected Exiled and their very first release contained a few top songs, it’s a record I give a spin once and a while. That John Cason is a good singer needs no argues, the main question is how Ritual Steel would perform musical wise. Well, as a matter of fact I shouldn’t have doubted the band, they have a tradition in good Heavy Metal and this new release is a confirmation of what I knew about them. By adding John Cason to their ranks the band took a giant step forward, coming closer to what true US Power Metal is all about. Officially Ritual Steel might be a German band but when you listen to “Immortal” you’ll hear pure US Metal, like it or not! I just adore Cason's strong lungs that constantly produces clean melodic vocals, with his own specific timbre. Oh yes, this lad has a vocal sound that I would recognize immediately!
With tracks like “Agressor”, “Dr.West”, “Satisfy Your Dreams” and “Get Down To The Underworld” nothing can go wrong. A surprise is the almost 24 minutes during “Welcome to the metal death”, outstanding track with a cold shivering obscure sounding middle part! This is how to create a dark and evil sound, something I missed a bit in the rest of the tracks. Ivory Tower guitarist Sven Boege is responsible for the bass guitar, the rhythm and lead guitar. When you hear for example “Satisfy Your Dreams” you’ll understand he is a very good musician. Also on all other tracks he pulls the strings on the right way. Anyway this guy did a fantastic job and it's mostly astonishing what he performed on this one! I suppose on stage a bass guitar player and maybe a second guitar player are necessary. Anyway it makes me long to see this band on stage, Headbangers Open Air would be the perfect spot.
This is first class US Power Metal from Germany and this band immediately becomes one to keep close under my 'Metal' radar. Ritual Steel is no longer a friendly German bunch of Metal heads playing good Heavy Metal, thanks to this release it became a true and professional formation! All typical ingredients are present to build a good old US Power Metal party, have a few drinks and prepare to bang that head. Maybe the band should make more atmosphere on their next release, a sinister mysterious and wicked sound wouldn't hurt their music, talking about evil samples or musical wise like they did on “Welcome to the metal death” . Anyway Ritual Steel grew into a band that delivers high screams, fast played riffs, outstanding mid-tempo arrangements, lots of breaks, double bass drums, screaming and fast fingered leads…. Ritual Steel ladies and gentlemen or should I say would have been the perfect fourth album of Exiled? Doesn’t matter anyway, just buy or die! http://www.ritualsteel.net .
My Points: 89 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & classic ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 89: Decent but better to take a preview first
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard