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Ritual Sacrifice - When Hope is Pain

Ritual Sacrifice
When Hope is Pain
by John Foley at 09 August 2021, 6:16 AM

Today we got U.S thrash metal maniacs Ritual Sacrifice with their album “When Hope is Pain". The band was formed in the late 80’s and they released a lot of demos through out the 90’s but at the same time as those they also had a lot of line up changes too. This marks their first album release which was originally meant to be released back in 1995 but was cancelled due to then record label Massacre Records going out of business. But the world finally got it and here it is.

The first song up is the title track “When Hope is Pain" and it is just full of speed and heavy thrash metal from the start. We got plenty of killer riffing to keep us going as the vocals come in to lead the way. Some pounding double bass coming from the drums and some ripping guitar solos, this is a cool song and a great way to open the album. Next up is “Once Precious Life" with it’s very chaotic intro. The song then settles in with the guitar riff being backed by the drums. Plenty of speed and precision to be found in the playing here. For a thrash metal song this one is a very moody song and the guitar solo's capture that vibe well. But that outro will totally beat your head right in.

With a spoken word intro about getting mad (or just getting pissed off in general). A really cool riff then hits as the song goes into full swing. It is a bit of a slower pace then what has come before it. You can hear lots of style being used here in the playing. The song is all about expressing anger and reminds me of something you would find on the “Seasons in the Abyss" album by SLAYER. With “Empty Churches” the band wastes no time in diving right into it with some stylish thrash metal riffing. The drums really shine in this one and the song is a real circle pit starter. It has an evil atmosphere to it and the dueling guitar solos keep that same feel.

After that one we got “Where is God" with all of its thrash metal madness. The duel guitar work here is great. From listening the song is asking where is God in these tough times. With guitar solo's that will melt your face and riffs that command the song this makes for a great listen. “Speaking in Tongues" is a bit of a synth driven track that acts as a sort of intermission and builds throughout. We are then right back into the metal with the song “Sleep Without Dreams" which is a real bang your head type of song. The double bass from the drums is just great as the back bone of the song. Plenty of cool riffing to be found and the vocals are on point too. The guitar solo sections are the real high light here. This was a great song.

With a bit of an unusual sound from the start we got “This Other Self" which acts as a solo instrumental track to high light the guitar skills. This is a really great piece of music that is just centred all around the guitar. We are then led to the follow up track which is “Final Exit”. This one starts off with lots of that heavy riffing as the drums picks up the song for the verse along with the vocals. This one has a nice groove to it and the guitar solo just rips right through the song and lifts it up. This is a real bang your head never in hand type of tune.

We now come to the final assault here with “Open Wound” and with this one the band are going out with a bang. The song builds right from the start. A solo just shreds through the track as the riffs and drums then lead us into the verse. The song has a great middle section and really brings the hammer down as this one closes.

From listening to RITUAL SACRIFICE it sounds like a bit of a time capsule to the old school thrash metal scene. “When Hope is Pain” is filled with plenty of killer riffs, pounding drums and ripping guitar solos. I found it to be very reminiscence of bands like SLAYER, EXODUS and TESTAMENT. The songs are quite short but very to the point and it is definitely an album to check out if you love your old school thrash metal.

Song Writing: 7
Memorability: 6
Musicianship: 8
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. When Hope is Pain
2. Once Precious Life
3. Inhuman
4. The Shape of Rage
5. Drop Dead
6. Empty Churches
7. Where is God
8. Speaking in Tongues
9. Sleep without Dreams
10. Less than Nothing
11. This Other Self
12. Final Exit
13. Open Wound
Jim Otis – Vocals
Bill Pincins – Guitar
John Skaare – Drums
Rob Shulze – Bass
Mike Longworth – Guitar
Record Label: Vic Records


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