Starlight Ritual – Sealed in Starlight

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Starlight Ritual as a band moniker is a bit of a conundrum. If they were called Hooded Ritual then you would most likely be right in thinking they were a doom band. Släytänic Ritual could then be a speed thrash combo and Ritual of Tsathoggua would come lurking from the nether regions of the underworld. However, what kind of style would you allocate to Starlight Ritual? Well these bunch of Canadians figured it was an excellent name for a hard rock/heavy metal hybrid.

They started out a couple of years ago as a bit of a psychedelic doom band on their self titled EP, but gradually they evolved into a beast that was halfway Thin Lizzy, halfway Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio. Not in the least because their lead singer Damian Ritual has an absolutely phenomenal voice. No one can ever fill Dio’s shoes (even though he was of rather small stature), but you can’t deny the fellow here has some pipes on him. And the fun doesn’t even stop there. Their guitarists are equally adept at flashing lightning fast solo’s at you. It might comes as a surprise considering the rather light nature of these songs but one of their guitarists, J.-F. Bertrand is actually part of Forteresse, without a doubt one of the finer Canadian black metal exports.

Little blackish can be found here though. Lyric wise we are again delving deeply into Howard territory with ‘The Riddle of Steel’ being its most telling example. After ‘The Bell’ has rung its intro, they kick off with all cylinders firing on ‘Marauders’ and keep the flames stoking with ‘One for the Road’ and  ‘Burning Desire’. They take it down a notch or two when the title track  rolls in gently with some bluesy licks before becoming a full on power ballad. Is this eighties worship or what? Fear not, after Damian unleashes a glass shattering “of Steeeeeeeeeel!’ the guitars explode in an eargasm of rifferama extravaganza. On the tones of a film extract, which I unfortunately can’t place, ‘Civilization Lost’ builds up in swift gallop to the aforementioned Conan adulation of ‘The Riddle of Steel’. ‘Lunar Rotation’ is a track of their previous ‘Age of the Universe’ EP that rightly retakes it place here once again. ‘Righteous ones’ closes off the ritual, although I think I’m just gonna press play again!

Release Date: June 2, 2021
Label: Temple of Mystery
Tracklist:

  1. The Bell
  2. Marauders
  3. One for the Road
  4. Burning Desire
  5. Sealed in Starlight
  6. Civilization Lost
  7. The Riddle of Steel
  8. Lunar Rotation
  9. Righteous Ones

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music9/10
  • Vocals/Lyrics10/10
  • Artwork8/10
  • Production8/10
  • Originality8/10
8.6A eargasm of rifferama extravaganza with soaring vocals worthy of Dio.
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