Sanctifying Ritual – Sanctifying Ritual

Rating: 3.5/5
Released: 2020
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Band line-up:

Tyrant – Vocals
Lord L. – Drums
Venomessiah – Guitars
Enforcer – Bass


1. (Tales Of The) Sinister Appearance
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


Sanctifying Ritual are a German death metal band on Iron Bonehead Productions. They formed in 2008 and released their ‘Sadistic Death’ demo a year later. Three years after that, they released their next demo ‘Carved in Rotten Remains’. During that time, the musicians were involved with other projects, such as Nocturnal Witch and Division Speed. Their EP ‘Storm of Devastation’ was unleashed in 2013 but after that, the group were silent. Their break is now over and they will be releasing their highly anticipated self-titled debut album on 5th June, 2020.

With the consistent use of reverb, this album is certainly atmospheric and doomy. It’s very human too, as these guys aren’t afraid to perform in ways that are often very scrappy. Most of the drumming is perfectly reasonable, but other times it’s so out of time, you may wonder if it was performed that way intentionally. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t sound bad, but it certainly may surprise you. Especially if you’re familiar with more modern, computer ‘perfected’ metal. The guitars have occasional cockups, too, but again, you could say they add character. A band of similar performance style is Diabolic. 

What is most important of course, is the songwriting. SR are not reinventing the wheel, but their chord progressions are wonderfully evil and the riffs do have something about them. Sometimes you get 80s thrash pedal tone ideas (for example in ‘Curse of Evil’ and ‘Carved in Rotten Remains’) and other times you get flat out brutality. Of course the guitars have distortion heavily applied to them, but when compared to most music of the same genre, the effects are relatively mild. Again, that is quite intriguing. 

In conclusion it’s very refreshing to hear music so ‘honest’. It seems to be going back to a 70s mentality where things were more relaxed. Of course they are a very different genre, but Led Zeppelin were another band who weren’t embarrassed by blatant errors. (Check out the solo in ‘Achilles Last Stand’ if you don’t believe me). And Zeppelin still did well, didn’t they? This is music with lots of personality but once more, it could do with more originality. Recommended!

Review by Simon Wiedemann