Ride With the Devil-according to the band’s Bandcamp page-was actually recorded three years ago and has waited a long time to come out of its slumber. Witching Altar is from Brazil and they play some traditional doom metal paying homage to the doom metal bands of old.
Ride With the Devil does not sound like it was recorded three years ago and shelved for what seems to be an eternity. Instead the album seems newly recorded just coming hot off of the presses. 2012 was not a long time ago of course, but the recordings of the songs held well enough to make it seem like they were recorded only yesterday.
As most doom is, Ride With the Devil is fueled by riffs. They range from the slow down trodden fuzzed out riffs we all are familiar with, to some uptempo riffs to throw in variety instead of keeping them at a numbing slow crawl. The slow crawl of course are a staple of doom and they are heavy and memorable here, but the riffs and guitars don’t just offer that. Blended into the murky mix are some psychedelic guitar solos as well as the more uptempo riffs I mentioned above.
The more down tempo riffs play into the hands of the lead singer who possesses a very haunting vocal style. The vocals are almost chanted sounding ghostly at times. The vocals sound like they were sung in a cathedral and have that echoing sound to them even though they themselves do not actually echo. The brooding stylings of the vocalist is further enhanced by the lyrics themselves having dealt with themes of the devil himself.
Their is an instrumental track well placed in the album titled her embrace. It falls about half way through the album and it showcases the talents of the musicians. More interesting still are the keyboards that are played on some of the songs in order to add more of a poltergeist like feel.
The end of the album displays two cover songs. The covers are of Cromwell by Reverend Bizarre and Living Backwards by Saint Vitus. These two songs are covered well of course and tie the album together nicely at the end.
Overall, Ride With the Devil was worth the wait. Witching Altar have the old school doom down pat and would like to take you on a journey with the Devil. So I say you should take the Devil’s hand and take the ride.