In an age where music is as consumed as fast as it can be downloaded and then quickly forgotten amongst a slew of mediocre releases it takes a band like North Carolina's Hour of 13 to remind you that musicians are capable of crafting truly memorable songs that will live on in your head for years to come with their second album 'The Ritualist'.
While Phil Swanson's vocal stylings come across as a more haunting Wino / Ozzy collaboration with a dark occult lyrical content, that has already led to outrage and controversy, matching this in the instrumentation department is Chad Davis who with more than 2 decades worth of experience in the US underground scene, including membership of Demoncy who spearheaded the first wave of US black metal in the '90s, knows how to write songs of a haunting, dark and occult nature that fits the doom genre perfectly!
Originally released on the cult as hell Northern Silence Record label, which deals exclusively in albums of superior quality, this version has been remastered and is the statement of intent for Hour of 13 to take themselves to the next level with live shows penned in for the near future following on from their 2010 live debut.
It goes without saying that this is a must for fans of current occult revivalists The Devils Blood, Electric Wizard and Ghost along with fans of classic doom in the vein of the 70's behemoth's Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General and Pentagram.
01 The Gathering
02 The Ritualist
03 Naked Star
04 Demons All Around Me
06 Soldiers of Satan
07 Evil Inside
08 The Crawlspace