Ritual King - Earthrise
Manchester heavy blues trio up their game with these ballsy three track EP
Words: Phil Weller
Evolution. It’s a bold word so many bands throw around several releases into their careers. There’s always talk of a developing, blossoming sound, of building on from what came before. But for Manchester’s heavy blues act Ritual King, their story is one closer to a revolution.
While recording their Elixir EP, experienced produced Alex Miller decided a name change, from Renegade & Retrospect, was a necessity. The re-brand, along with a new logo and a smarter look coupled itself with an immensely produced EP that received mass acclaim from the media and fans alike. Suddenly they became a much more tantalising proposition; their sound had grown bigger, hairier balls and their live shows saw an adrenaline shot rammed into their veins too. However now, with their new three track EP, Earthrise, the band are carving out a firmer identity with their music; direct influences are less obvious, their chemistry seems more harmonious, their deliverance confident, their arrangement slicker.
From the off this is an accomplished sounding release. The beginnings of Ideology are mountain sized, with drummer Rodge Hodges rolling across his toms like a stampeding elephant before a winding, inspired riff flies off the handle and really brings the song to life. There’s a dash of Vintage Caravan to their sound here, while the guitar tone is thick and nasty, but all musical adventure is wrapped smartly around a catchy, inviting chorus draped in memorable melodies. It’ll fly off one way, before hurtling back into its foot-stomping chorus and then veering off into another unexpected direction afterwards. This is blues, psych rock, grunge and testosterone-infused rock n’ roll all thrown into one melting pot.
Each member has, since Elixir, improved upon their respective instruments massively. Jordan Leppitt appears more comfortable and composed with his vocal approach and his solos are extra spicy and impressive. Hodges is a beast behind the kit at times, but he knows when to serve the song and when to put on the gas, while bassist Dan Godwin flits between drum complimenting basslines and punchy, guitar-battling riffs with balance and intelligence.
But Anyway slows things down, taking it to a more evil place that tips its hat to doom rock and it closes an EP chock full of riffs, musical highlights and earworm melodies. Elixir may have been the crowning moment of the band’s revolution, where they went from three lads jamming a heavy brand of the blues to a serious band with the full package, but Earthrise shows how they are still evolving since that dramatic reinvention. As these three tracks play out, you really are left with the feeling that this band could go somewhere.
The band celebrate the release of Earthrise at Rebellion Feb 24th - https://www.facebook.com/events/1812754458746103/