Album Review: Rites of Haḍḍā – The Horned God

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Rites of Haddā

The Horned God - Horn And Hoof Records

The Horned God” is the debut full length from pagan witch punks Rites of Haḍḍā, appropriately enough the vinyl release of the album was unleashed on the Autumn equinox on an extremely limited edition 12” vinyl, this socially conscious limited run vinyl featured a hand made vegan, up-cycled, plastic free, compostable sleeve made from recycled hemp paper that has a screen print of the album art work attached to the front, as well as a hand printed poster. “The Horned God” will be a released digitally later this month, but for now, if you’re lucky, you can grab one of these handmade vinyl artefacts. Not since the heyday of Factory Records has so much time and energy been poured into the packaging of an album, the first bite may be taken with the eye, but it’s what’s carved into the grooves that truly counts.

Shorn of their extravagant live spectacle Rites of Haḍḍā are dependent on the soundtrack, on initial inspection the five tracks on offer on “The Horned God” might appear to be coming up short for a full length, however, aside from the short sharp punk blast of ‘It’s Time To Riot‘ this is an album that heads off into unexpected territory as the opening track ‘Miscarriage Of Justice‘ demonstrates with an offbeat hook that is equal parts punk rock, garage punk and proto metal. Swiftly following in it’s wake come two tracks that sit at the opposite ends of Rites of Haḍḍā‘s world, the six minute slow burn of ‘The Right Time To Die‘ and the 97 second cathartic blast of ‘It’s Time To Riot‘. The three tracks on the a-side usher you into world of Rites of Haḍḍā and prepare you for what’s to come as the flip side is where they truly let loose.

The almost eight minute ‘Sun And Storm‘ channels the dark side of psychedelia and marries it to an almost post punk attitude that builds into a hypnotic rhythm, however, the album’s swan song is what this release has been building up to, the truly epic eleven minute three part finalè of ‘The Ending Ritual‘ that incorporates the three movements of ‘Filth‘, ‘Indian Nationalist‘ and ‘The Horned God‘. This sprawling track takes you deep into the rabbit hole that Rites of Haḍḍā have been heading down since the start of “The Horned God“. This is an idiosyncratic and truly eccentric album, the stripped back production, that I can testify captures the band’s live sound, only adds to the sense that the band have stayed completely true to their own instincts. The end result is that Rites of Haḍḍā have delivered a truly unique full length that casts it’s own pagan spell over you, all hail “The Horned God“.

You can purchase “The Horned God” on vinyl via Horn And Hoof Records here