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Sanctifying Ritual – Sanctifying Ritual

Sanctifying Ritual
Sanctifying Ritual
by Gary Hernandez at 02 June 2020, 9:21 AM

There are quite a few mysteries haunting the dark woods of Germany. One is why the members of SANTIFYING RITUAL had us wait seven years before recording new material. Their known discography is thus: “Sadistic Death,” demo, 2009; “Carved In Rotten Remains,” demo, 2012; “Storm of Devastation,” EP, 2013; “Sadistic Remains,” compilation of the previous two demos, 2015; “Sanctifying Ritual,” full-length album, June 5, 2020.

Sanctifying Ritual” is a raw, and arguably rare, fusion of Death and Thrash rendered to perfection with a strong production values and labyrinthine arrangements — you know, the type that rewards you with a frickin’ minotaur threshing your innards and curb stomping your cranium when you get to the center. It’s hard to pin down an era or regional influence that epitomizes the sound — the foursome is fluent across multiple styles, which in itself constitutes its own language. Venomessiah’s guitar work is stunning, churning out locomotive riffs just as easily as discordant tremolo, searing solos, and, yes, melodic acoustics. The rhythm section, commanded by Lord (drums) and Enforcer (bass), is formidable and versatile. And Tyrant’s vocals are aptly evil, deep, and resonant.

The nine-track, 41-minute album cranks to life with “(Tales Of The) Sinister Appearances,” a deceptively nuanced title, and pretty much travels at breakneck velocity until the final blistering chord of the epic “Abominable Death Rebels” (great potential band name, btw). The only break in pace is the short-lived acoustic intro to “Stained With Rotten Blood.” And if you’re thinking this in anyway softens this track, you’d be wrong. Standout tracks are plentiful with “Into Obscure Abyss,”Curse Of Evil,” “Obsessed By Gore,” and “Carved In Rotten Remains” being my personal favorites.

Longtime fans will see that line-up wise there have a been a few changes since 2013. Vocals are now handled by Tyrant who played bass in previous releases and bass is now in the hands of Enforcer. The drummer we once knew as Wirsching is now known as Lord. The resultant lineup has put together a debut album that is urgent without being reckless and raw without being sloppy. It might be best described as precision chaos and is a solid contribution to any self-respecting Death Metal collection.

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


4 Star Rating

1. (Tales Of The) Sinister Appearances
2. Into Obscure Abyss
3. Curse Of Evil
4. Obsessed By Gore
5. Carved In Rotten Remains
6. Stained With Rotten Blood
7. Throne Of Evil Atrocity
8. Mankind Devastation
9. Abominable Death Rebels
Tyrant – Vocals
Lord – Drums
Venomessiah – Guitars
Enforcer – Bass
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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