Show N Tell – The Ritual Has Begun (No Remorse Records)Wednesday, 31st January 2024
Often referenced in childhood days as the opportunity to showcase a specific talent or object of prominence to your fellow classmates, this Show N Tell comes from a true heavy metal background straight out of Phoenix, Arizona. From 2019 guitarist/vocalist Dave Rodriquez started the group, assembling members to record a debut three song demo, receiving acclaim across the global underground. Five years later, the four-piece issues The Ritual Has Begun, a debut album that sits firmly in the more recent breed of traditional, power, and speed categories similar to artists such as Enforcer, Skull Fist, and Accept – as well as that melodic hard rock throwback knowledge template that put Dokken and W.A.S.P. on the map.
The hook-oriented main chord/riff choices align to the ideals of classic heavy metal – Rodriquez as well as second guitarist Daniel Dobbs delivering tough as steel passages beyond fleet of finger, adrenaline-laced breaks. Be it more mid-tempo in the highway spirit mold for “Night Stalker” or frenzied with the right street attack on “Tortured By Reality”, the axe play contains a bevy of killer transitions plus lightning quick lead action that makes ears perk up, heads rise, bodies galloping all the way. Opener “Rip N Tear” contains neoclassical measures next to some Enforcer meets Hammerfall-like runs, the rhythm section of bassist Cade Gardner and drummer Mike Thomas up to the challenge in foundational support. A nod to commercial melodic hard rock appears in specific riffs or chorus work – “Heavy Metal” one of those rally cry numbers sure to induce gang audience participation, be it vocally or hurtling oneself stage diving, head banging with abandon. Then there’s the piercing high range nature of Dave vocally. It can be hit or miss depending on your preferences, as at times the screech-like screams could be nails on the chalkboard hard to handle. But you can’t deny much like Skull Fist or early Helloween, his delivery on “I’m Alive” is 100% metal, while his versatility on the Maiden-esque closer “The Second Death” could be something worth exploring a bit more in the future.
Show N Tell may be a relative newcomer on the scene, but it’s easy to see plenty of potential right away for The Ritual Has Begun. Proof that this style shows no sign of dying, and it’s a welcome treat for all traditionalists.