Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Num Skull-Ritually Abused

Part of what I love about Relapse Records is their willingness to put out som truly interesting old school releases that never really saw the light of day back in the 80s. Their latest release in this series is the all time classic Ritually Abused from Num Skull, a band I had never heard of before this re-release but am now thouroughly in love with. With a sound who reminds me as much Dark Angel as it does of Possession, Num Skull are the kind of glorious thrash metal that takes no prisoners and will take your way and smash in your face.

Now, this record originally came out in 1988, so the harsh growls found on Ritually Abused are not totally groundbreaking. Nevertheless, their speed and execution is something to be reckoned with, they have a glorious ferocity that actually reminds me quite a bit of Power Trip. Their style of riffing is wonderfully groovy with all sorts of angular melodies anchoring the entire thing in a bleak reality. The guitar solos are flashy and fast, capturing the spirit of the 80s in their chromium attack. Ultimately, Ritually Abused has rapidly become close to my heart because it perfectly fuses two of my great loves, old school thrash metal and old school death metal, while it's certainly on the thrashier side of the equation it certainly proves that Num Skull were on to something exciting.

So as you feel the rapid fire attack of Num Skull rattle its ways into your bones, you ultimately have to release yourself from all inhibition and jump into the pit. These guys had a great sense of what it meant to thrash, and their Death Angel-like hooks slotted in perfectly next to riffs that were reminiscent of Morbid Angel. Ritually Abused may actually be one of the best extreme records to have come out in 1988, and its truly a beautiful thing that it is finally allowed to get the recognition it needs and deserves. Let this record wash over you, and feel yourself become Ritually Abused.

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