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Ritual - Valley Of The Kings (Reissue)

Valley Of The Kings (Reissue)
by Darren Duffy at 15 June 2021, 8:34 PM

Originating out of London, RITUAL released their debut album entitled “Widow” in 1983 during the peak of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal after having being together for some ten years, RITUAL main man Re Bethe has named DEEP PURPLE and BLACK SABBATH as his original influences. Ten years after “Widow” was released, RITUAL released their second album “Valley Of The Kings”, this picked up where they left off in 1983 and sounds very much as belonging to that era. Here we have the reissue via High Roller Records, remastered by Patrick W. Engel in May 2020.

There is an early 80's feel to this album even though it was recorded in 1993. The guitar sound is reminiscent of that era. The first track “Naisha“ begins with the opening guitar solo over an acoustic passage before settling into a mid-paced triplet groove. “Kiss Of The Nile” has a more 70's heavy rock feel which continues on into the verse riff of “Come To The Ritual”. The tempo slows for the mid-section, builds up for the guitar solo and blends into an acoustic outro. “Gypsy” features Re Bethe trading off multiple guitar parts in a seamless manner. “The Enchanted Princess” is an acoustic instrumental which displays a gentler side to the guitar work.

The tempo is raised a little on “Burning”, delivering another solid straight-ahead rocker. One of the longer songs “Winds Of Fire” opens with a nice acoustic passage, dual guitars trade off before locking onto the main lead hook and accompany a great vocal performance on this epic sounding song. Next up is the faster rocker “Lady Night” complete with more impressive guitar interplay. “Morning Star” has a more laid-back approach driven on by the bass. The BLACK SABBATH comparison springs to mind on “Possessed”, the verse gallop much akin to that on “Children of the Grave”. “Never Look Back” finishes the album off in strong style.

In conclusion: this is a well-crafted consistent album of early 80's sounding heavy rock / metal. The performance of main man Re Bethe is definitely worthy of a mention, both for the vocals and the multiple guitar parts he plays on the album. “Valley of the Kings” is worth checking out if you are feeling in a nostalgic mood for some early 80's heavy rock / metal.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Naisha
2. Kiss Of The Nile
3. Come To The Ritual
4. Gypsy
5. The Enchanted Princess
6. Burning
7. Winds Of Fire
8. Lady Night
9. Morning Star
10. Possessed
11. Never Look Back
Re Bethe - Guitar & Vocals
Phil Mason - Bass
Rex Duval - Drums
Record Label: High Roller Records


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Edited 03 October 2022

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