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Their first album for nearly a decade, 'Lost Ritual' is Raging Speedhorn's recorded return, having reformed two years back. And it's a riff-fuelled, heavy and sonically aggressive offering that, unfortunately, fails to have as much impact as it could have. Why? A general lack of variance, I'm afraid.

Genre is at the forefront of the compositions on 'Lost Ritual', rather than actual songcraft. Thus it's all about tried-and-tested paradigms; little effort or concentration has seemingly been spent on malleability in their songwriting; instead, it's genre predominance through and through. Of course, that's not a weak point per se, as genre affiliation is no bad thing in itself, although the tracks on this album are, effectively, interchangeable and blend into each other in one big uninventive, amalgamated riff-fest. There's barely any variance in proceedings, which can make 'Lost Ritual' a fairly tedious listen at times. Sure, there's some pacing variance between songs but, with the exception of album closer 'Unleash the Serpent', it just feels like the same kind of thing, over and over, with different tempos.

On the plus side, the production is of a high quality, courtesy of the ever-reliable Russ Russell. And, despite the aforementioned lack of songwriting variance and imagination, many of the tracks will undoubtedly shine in a live context, no doubt primed as they are to engender maximum pit carnage. It's also a bit of a groovy bastard; at times, even venturing into stoner territory. And the grooves can be rather infectious if, again, too repetitive and tiresome. Another plus point is the fantastic cover art - eye-catching stuff, even if the music itself isn't ear-catching enough. Frank Regan and John Loughlin’s vocals are also a highlight of the album - each man's rasped delivery is effective in cathartically spitting out all the lyrical anger in each track.

Overall, though, 'Lost Ritual' just comes across as a tad pedestrian and lacklustre. For a band with allegedly the reputation and history of Raging Speedhorn, it's something of a disappointing recorded comeback. I'm guessing, as I already noted, these are songs that need to be experienced live to appreciate their full intensity and maximum impact. On record, however, it lapses into tedium all too often. Nonetheless, it's still an above average effort, just an uninspired one.
Review by Mark Holmes
15th July 2016
1) Bring Out Your Dead
2) Halfway to Hell
3) Motorhead
4) Evil or Mental
5) Ten of Swords
6) Dogshit Blues
7) Hangman
8) Shit Outta Luck
9) Comin' Home
10) Unleash the Serpent
"...it just feels like the same kind of thing, over and over, with different tempos."