Sunday, November 21, 2010

RITUAL – The Ancient Tome CD review

RITUAL – The Ancient Tome CD
Heaven and Hell Records

This old New Jersey band’s claim to fame comes in the plump form of That Metal Show’s host Eddie Trunk. Back in the mid 80’s while a DJ at WDHA 105.5 FM, I’m sure you all remember it, Eddie Trunk called RITUAL “one of the most promising bands to come out of New Jersey”. After that Eddie then went on to play another KISS record, totally forgot about RITUAL and the rest is history. I have to wonder if this band’s sole remaining member, singer Billy “Wildman” Farley, fills up Eddie Trunk’s email account with requests to get on That Metal Show. If not that then I can just imagine him, in a gravely voice strained from years of abuse, leaving messages on Trunk’s voicemail. “Hey Eddie, remember me? It’s the Wildman from RITUAL. Remember 1985 dude? Let the metal play man and let me on your fuckin show. Dude, I’m more interesting then that GUNS N’ ROSES’ fuck. You could have me and Bon Jovi on representing Jersey. Eddie please, I’ve got this comp CD out now and I need the press. It could be your pick of the week dude. Eddie answer the phone dammit I’m almost out of minutes.”

Well Eddie Trunk might not be listening anymore but maybe someone else will especially if they’re into East Coast 80’s Hair Metal. This compilation combines the band’s three late 80’s demos which would be a perfect gift for anyone who still worships Bret Michaels or Vince Neil. There are fifteen tracks in all on here. The first seven are from the band’s 1987 demo L.T.M.P. (Let The Metal Play). Aside from the cheesiest title I’ve seen since the late 80s this is in the same vein of POISON and the CRUE. There’s even a power ballad, “No Longer Feel”, which is the third song in. Another cut “If I Had Your Love” comes close to being a partial power ballad. The rest is the obligatory 80’s Hair Metal lyrical themed tales of wanting love, fighting, Rock n Roll life, etc. The next four tracks are from their 1989 Evil in You Heart demo and illustrate how the band’s sound progressed from second tier standings to one equal with their million record selling peers. The last four cuts are from their Dark Star demo which was also recorded in 89.

Unfortunately for RITUAL this was too little too late since the popular musical landscape at that time was about to undergo a major shift. Spandex would be replaced with flannels. Hairspray and eyeliner sales for rock musicians would end with dirty hair and heroin chic becoming the norm. And the word “Grunge” would become the new flavor of the month musical term followed by “Indie Rock”. I’m sure if you threw a bucket of cold water on Billy “Wildman” Farley while he was in a deep sleep. He would probably wake up cursing Kurt Cobain. Be that as it may if you wanna relive the glory of 80’s Hair Metal then RITUAL will take you for a ride on the revival train. Personally I was never a fan of this era of popular music although I dated alot of women who were. I think Farley would’ve faired better in music history if he moved to LA like every other budding wannabe rock star musician did. Obviously Eddie Trunk’s water carrying recommendation didn’t help him any.



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