And the Thrash Revival continues to march on unabated.
The latest entry into this field are Pittsburgh, PA's MANTIC RITUAL, who deliver us an album filled with 1980's-style Thrash. While the styles here is nothing new, the band show an interesting mix of influences. There is a smidgen of early Bay-Area sound (read: before METALLICA made it Progressive or Groove), and there is a healthy dose of vintage Euro-Thrash (particularly of the German variety). One can even detect a hint of SACRED REICH, who really don't fit either category. What makes the style noteworthy, however, are the occasional flirtations with 1980's Heavy Metal, injecting a certain melodic quality to the sound. Particularly on some of the guitar solos (most notably on “Executioner”), the playing is reminiscent of Rudolf Schenker. By closing one's eyes, the listener can imagine himself transported back in time, to a huge arena along with 50,000 other fans, watching the SCORPIONS play the Monsters of Rock tour.
Sadly, despite the eclectic mix of influences, this album begins to bog down not long after it begins. There are unique elements to the overall sounds, but nothing unique among the songs to make any of them stand out from one another. Consequently, the album soon becomes repetitive. The notable exception is “Next Attack,” which opens with a cool mid-tempo riff, and has a barroom rock vibe to it. Unfortunately this track is too little and comes too late.
This is a competent release, and MANTIC RITUAL have an interesting set of ingredients in their kitchen to work with. They just need to learn how to make more than one recipe.
(Online March 26, 2009)