Raging Speedhorn is a name that for many of our readers needs absolutely no introduction. This band is quite literally a stalwart of the UK heavy metal scene; their reunion and subsequent gigs reaffirming their place at the top of the pile.
For those not in the know, or just out of the loop, Raging Speedhorn are a six-piece sludge/alternative/hardcore outfit from Corby in the UK. The band expertly blend the fast-paced, raw stylings of ‘proper’ hardcore with monolithic, sludgey riffs and a relentless dual-vocal onslaught. The band have supported the likes of Slipknot, Rammstein, Slayer and Cradle of Filth to name but a few.
Speedhorn have been accepted back into the live scene in the UK with open arms, especially by the burgeoning stoner/sludge/doom cohort. This influence seems to have rubbed off on them (a great thing for us riff consumers) as ‘Lost Ritual’ leans far more to this side of things than their earlier releases.
Having seen Raging Speedhorn plenty of times since their comeback (the Halfway to Hell t-shirt has been sported on many an occasion in the last year and many times on stage!) and hearing a few of the new songs played live, I knew that ‘Lost Ritual’ would be an amazing album. I’m pleased to say that this is true and without disrespect to their earlier work, it’s by far the best thing they’ve ever produced by a million miles.
‘Bring Out Your Dead’ is the perfect track to open with; chugging guitars and ferocious vocals set the scene for the rest of the album. Raging Speedhorn relentlessly spit their unique brand of heavy into your ears for a further eight blistering tracks before the finisher, ‘Unleash the Serpent’ which is a monolithic slab of sludge. While the band certainly have a distinct style, this album never gets stale – despite being ten tracks long, listening through the whole way felt like a few minutes which is a sign of a great album.
A special mention has to go out to Dominic Sohor, the creator of this record’s artwork. Dom is the go-to man these days for stoner/sludge/doom artwork and it’s not hard to see why. While I could list all the great bands he’s worked with, it would probably dwarf this article. Suffice to say, he’s an insane artist and you should check his work out.
All in all, ‘Lost Ritual’ is a stellar album by a killer band. Just as the scene was becoming swamped by Down clones, the true masters of modern British heaviness have returned with their best work to date and you’d quite frankly be a fool not to go out and buy this record on the day it comes out.
Words by James Crozier