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Whiskey Ritual – Kings

whiskey ritual – kings


Whiskey Ritual have been active in the metal underground since 2008, and these Italian Black n’Roll Metal have kept the spirit of their music alive album after album. Here we have album no. five with ‘Kings’ which still sticks to the usually Whiskey Ritual formula- filthy riffs with that punk sound akin to the likes of earlier Dødsferd meets mid era Darkthrone but not as gritty or lo-fi with a slightly cleaner sound; think Satyricon’s ‘Black Lava’ quality. The lineup has pretty much stayed the same with the welcome addition of a new bassist since their last album in 2019, so perhaps that is why listeners might notice a slight shift in sound towards more of a furious Black Metal style overall as opposed to the balanced Blackened Punk they did on their earlier work. Tracks like ‘Rien ne vas plus’ is an excellent example of how Whiskey Ritual can go full force on the genre, sounding similar to the likes of Carpathian Forest, but having a little more “upbeat” pumped into the music versus the raw depression that a lot of Black Metal groups tend to go with, such as Khold who are known for a colder, doomier kind of Black n’ Roll.

Those who like groups such as Municipal Waste will enjoy tracks like ‘Jetlag.’ Here a lot more of the punk influences shine through (and the bass too!). Certainly more Darkthrone influenced here with the repetitive chant of the title of the track and more simplistic approach to the music versus the Satan soaked tremolo pickings and kvlt approach of the opening track. One thing Whiskey Ritual still does well is somewhat poke fun at the genre which can be a little overly serious at times and inject their own ideas regarding drinking and prostitutes (just listen to ‘Trve Escort’). Purists may sneer at the idea, but Black n’ Roll has never really been about fully criticizing Christianity and religion the way traditional Black Metal does, and Whiskey Ritual does a fine job at toeing the line with what they choose to write about. Those looking for a more balanced Black n’ Roll track will look no further than ‘Eye for an Eye’ which has plenty of speedy moments, a good lyrical balance between Satan and alcohol. The vibe of the music is still fun, so one can still raise their glass while moshing in the pit to these guys. The throaty vocals are certainly Black Metal inspired with some punk group vocals here and there.

The only downfall of ‘Kings’ is after a while the punk styled riffs tend to sound the same about halfway through the album. Whiskey Ritual is very stripped down and not one for long epic tracks with deep atmospheric sections, or a shift to clean vocals from harsh. Pretty much from track 1 one gets exactly what they were expecting if they’ve been following the band for a while. New listeners to Black n’ Roll and Whiskey Ritual have to know they’re going in for an album to enjoy, versus an album to be serious about. Those expecting a more nihilistic Dødsferd approach won’t find it here (nor the more interesting approach), but ‘Kings’ is a rowdy, stripped down listen that goes by quick, but worth a few shots in between listens and certainly a good mosh pit by ‘Goodfellas’ to invoke some sort of aggressive stance towards the music. A bit more Darkthrone as far as the attitude goes fans are going to have fun with this no matter what.

Whiskey Ritual

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