Sacred Rite – “The Ritual” (1985)

Sacred RiteAs if it was enough for American power metal bands to scratch and claw for recognition, Sacred Rite had the additional burden of geography to deal with.  Operating out of Hawaii, the band probably didn’t get a whole lot of exposure elsewhere.  The Ritual was Sacred Rite’s second album, it followed their triumphant eponymous debut from 1984, a kick-ass record that flew under the radar.  The Ritual is composed of eight cuts, four of them new studio tracks and four of them live cuts.  The four new studio cuts find Sacred Rite moving away from the fantasy based lyrics successfully employed on their debut.  This is somewhat unfortunate, as I really dug the epic atmosphere created by those lyrical themes.  These new tracks seem to lack the magic that emanated from Sacred Rite.  As such, the real highlight of The Ritual is the four live cuts — two of which had previously appeared (as studio tracks) on Sacred Rite, and two new ones that blaze a fiery path to Satan (the devil) much like early Satan (the band).  Overall, The Ritual is not as good as the debut, but still good enough to evoke skyward sabre raising and gullet-bound goblet guzzling.  My score: B

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