Review: Whiskey Ritual – Black Metal Ultras

It’s already ten years ago that the debut EP, titled Black’n’Roll, of the Italian black’n’rollers Whiskey Ritual was released. After that EP, a tribute to GG Allin as a split together with Forgotten Tomb and three full-lengths followed. However, that was the case until earlier this year. Until that moment Whiskey Ritual’s third full-length Blow with the Devil, of which you can read our review here, was the latest studio-material from these Italians. On April the 26th Blow with the Devil got a successor though. This fourth full-length album is titled Black Metal Ultras.

Whiskey Ritual starts Black Metal Ultras with its title track. They immediately go full-throttle without any intro or something like that. We immediately hear a very gritty, filthy vibe that fits very well with the heavily pounding drums, the wall of guitars and the raw screams. Those screams are extremely raw during the entire album, but they probably sound the most extreme in Streets and Liers.

Streets and Liers is a track that boosts the straightforward black metal level on this album after 666 Problems, which also shows black metal influences, but in a less straightforward way. On some moments of 666 Problems Whiskey Ritual sounds a bit like a black metal version of Motörhead, but at other moments it also shows a bit of an old school hardcore vibe, a vibe that’s strengthened by the gang-like vocals towards the end of this track. Another example in which Whiskey Ritual shows a bit more straightforward black metal is Death Comes by Limo, the track that follows to Knockout. Knockout is, just as 666 Problems, pretty rock’n’roll and sometimes even sounds a bit catchy. Vocally Knockout not only contains raw screams, but also cleaner, shouty vocals, something that also returns in Die Hard, a track in which some very nicely roaring guitars can be heard as well.

It probably is just a coincidence but Whiskey Ritual closes Black Metal Ultras with exactly that what former DutchMetalManiac writer Nino Milillo was thinking while reviewing Whiskey Ritual’s Blow with the Devil. Back then he wrote “At some point I thought I was listening to a slightly more brutal version of Turbonegro.” The latest track on Black Metal Ultras is exactly that, a slightly more brutal version of Turbonegro’s Denim Demon.

Whiskey Ritual delivers quite a lot of variation on Black Metal Ultras, without deviating too much from their black’n’roll basics. They also change a lot in terms of rhythms on this album, with Death Comes by Limo and Manifesto being the fastest tracks. That variation in style as well as in rhythm are what’s making Black Metal Ultras interesting for sure.

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