By Gruesome Greg
A short burst of trad metal from Phil Swanson (ex-Hour of 13) and company, five tracks lasting 17-and-a-half minutes. Despite what the band name and the album title might suggest, this is not some Sunset Strip sleaze band, but a more traditional British-style metal, informed by doom, but more towards the realm of earlier Judas Priest.
“Ritual of Self” maintains a decent pace behind Swanson’s slightly-deeper Halfordian screams, but includes a slow, instrumental breakdown right in the middle. “Nightbitch” starts off slow, then interrupts a decent gallop with a frantic, push-pull attack that descends into epic doom. (Hey, what self-respecting NWOBHM band didn’t name a song after themselves, eh?) The title track does sound kinda cheesy, mind you, with a slightly Satanic take on Ram It Down-style lyrics. Swanson’s sneer is never more nasal than on this tune, and despite a decent build-up from the backing band, his presence is a huge detractor.
Alas, for the most part, this EP is listenable, even enjoyable—but by no means original. That said, if a record sleeve of a black-clad woman in front of an oak tree with the words Sex and Magic along the bottom would incite you to buy this album, you won’t be disappointed with the content within.