TOO LATE TO CHANGE... The story of Belgium's RITUAL, as recalled by Alain Vandenberghe and Didier Retelet
Like many bands of the Eighties, Belgium's Ritual weren't lacking in talent but found themselves trapped in a bubble of indifference which hampered their chances of ever breaking through. A shame, because, as this album clearly shows, the quartet had a lot to offer and over two demos recorded some sixteen years apart, produced some highly exciting material. The first four songs the band put to tape were recorded in 1984, by a line-up which featured vocalist Alain Vandenberghe, guitarist Didier Retelet, bassist Raymond Roobaert and drummer Eric De Boeck. The band had actually started life under the name Weaver Of Insanity when, in Didier's words, "a bunch of friends, heavy metal crazy, decided to form a group. This was in 1977. By the late Seventies though the name Weaver Of Insanity didn't mean anything to us and became obsolete." As for the name 'Ritual', "I loved the sound of the word," he says. "Certainly there were others suggested, but I have no recollection of those we rejected. "It was in April 1984, I think, that we recorded the demo, and it was a first for all of us. Tired of attracting little interest, we chose to record this tape to contact the smaller labels that we thought would be likely to be interested in us." "It wasn't easy for us at that time," adds Alain. "We weren't working but we were rehearsing almost every day. We put our money together, and my mother contributed some as well, but it was not enough so we had to do the recordings at night, over three nights, I think it was." The band were, overall, happy with the results of the sessions, "even if it did not reflect the essence of the group," says Didier.