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Ritual Steel: V
Ritual Steel - V Album Art Work

Ritual Steel: V

Traditional Heavy Metal
3.5/5.0

Drummer Martin Zellmer has been a fixture in the German metal underground for better than 25 years, serving many bands in the process. His main band, Ritual Steel, has been around in some shape or form since 2001. The most recent version has been pared down to the trio of John Cason on vocals, Sven Boge on guitars and, of course, Zellmer, of course, on drums. After a six year studio hiatus, Ritual Steel returns with their aptly titled fifth album, V.

Ritual Steel - Click For Larger Image

Ritual Steel

What you can expect from Ritual Steel is simply traditional heavy metal, following in NWoBHM tradition. Being a band led by a drummer, you'd expect many songs to be advanced by Zellmer's drum work, and you would be right. This is notable in songs such as The Evil Elite, Confrontation On The Frontlines, Civil Unrest, and especially Does Tomorrow Exist, where his drums establish a marching pace before Boge's guitar line rises. But Boge's guitar lines are no second fiddle to the drums. Within Ritual Steel and Kingdom Of Death his sharp riffs both lead and drive the song. Alternatively, for Doomonic Power, guitar and drums pair together to establish the rhythm and groove. Of course, in each song Boge gets to rip into a frenzy of fiery solos. In this mix, John Cason offers traditional, yet slightly pitched, heavy metal vocals.

Essentially, I found Ritual Steel's V to offer solid, but mostly derivative, traditional heavy metal with little surprising moments of novelty. Two listens were enough for this review, but I probably won't spin the album again. Nevertheless, if you like classic and traditional heavy metal, Ritual Steel is definitely worth investigating.


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The Bottom Line

Essentially, I found Ritual Steel's V to offer solid, but mostly derivative, traditional heavy metal with little to no surprising moments of novelty. Nevertheless, if you like classic and traditional heavy metal, Ritual Steel is definitely worth investigating.

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