Fancy a dose of morbid black metal, you are in the rite place? This is a fairly new entity who released their debut 5 track EP on cassette format last year in just 100 copies. As is often the case a label liked what they heard and are now picking it up for a more widespread release on CD and digital. The Rite are a trio based in both Denmark and Italy and comprise of members of Denial Of God and Black Oath among others, they have also just recently played a first show at Denmark’s Metal Magic Festival. That’s about all the necessary information to go with this so let’s get onto the music itself.

Setting things up with ‘A Prayer To Satan’ wind howls away, thunder crashes in the background and indeed it could be the noise outside during our stormy summer here. The prayer itself comes with gargling inhuman voice and is suitably scary, we get the idea that this lot advocate the left hand path as a bell ominously tolls and acolytes gather to worship. Finally we get some grating guitars as ‘A Pact With Hell’ rumbles into life. This is definitely at the doomy satanic end of the black metal spectrum and Ustumallagam of Denial Of God’s vocals are suitably gnarly. There is a certain feeling of theatricality about it all despite the slow and ominous pace and no doubt the stage show replicates it, you can feel the oozing fog and bloody chalice being imbibed and despite the leaden tone there is plenty of atmosphere. Sudden primitive gallops are injected into the music and a barbed thrashing tumult is left for those to headbang for a moment before it churns back into a slow grind to the death. The title track sees cold mist spreading in both music and lyrical theme. Some macabre organ type work adds mystery and anti-hymnal worship and Frostian riffs pack a slow solemn punch almost akin to classic doom. Lyrics accompanying this late night rite see us praising the goat on a moonlit heath but the best line from it which particularly sticks out illustrating just how ghastly it is are undoubtedly the words “Drink the Vomit then Spit in a Cup Severed Limbs afloat in Baby’s Blood.” Nice! Some groove is injected and drums hammer away and this is an interesting Sabbath to find oneself a witness to.

“Welcome to hell”, are the words ushering in ‘Heed The Devil’s Call’ and the doom elements make it a slippery serpent of a track straddling two distinct genres here when combined with the croaky vocals. It’s like a really evil early Black Sabbath and Candlemass. Credentials are truly crowned and shown in choice of cover version at the end here it being US cultists Goatlord’s Acid Orgy, the words of which may well be brought to the surface and have you singing along at the end. Not bad at all, The Rite have promise and hopefully a full-length album may well be in their future. I’ll be keeping ears to the ground for it.

(7/10 Pete Woods)