Geezer Butler’s new supergroup Deadland Ritual just dropped their first single, and it’s proof that he’s still not done rocking
'Down In Flames', the supergroup's first single, is a sludgy, anthemic number with wailing guitars that showcases each member's honed skills without feeling cluttered at any point.
Last week, we wrote about the emergence of an impressive looking new supergroup. Composed of Black Sabbath bassist and songwriter Geezer Butler, former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, longtime Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, and vocalist Franky Perez from Apocalyptica, the heavy metal quartet looked impressive on paper and called themselves Deadland Ritual.
Now, after teasing bits and pieces of their first single through the band's rapidly growing social media accounts, Deadland Ritual has just released the single in full, accompanied by its own music video, proving that the outfit is not one of those that just look good on paper, and that there's some seriously dense stuff to explore.
Titled 'Down In Flames', the supergroup's debut single showcases the impressive skills of each of the veteran members, stitched together to deliver an epic sing-along rock anthem.
The track opens with Sorum's tight snare-work, which immediately opens up to a sludge metal-styled opening riff that has Black Sabbath written all over it - definitely a touch added by Butler, who was the primary songwriter for Sabbath for 49 years before the band finally called it quits in 2017.
Steve Stevens' wailing guitars form instantly catchy riffs and breakdowns that are best enjoyed with your headphones turned to maximum, but the curious composition of the song surprisingly leaves no room for a traditional guitar solo. An especially nice touch is the blending of the said guitar wail with Perez's whoops on the pre-chorus - it feels like a tightly wound spring waiting to unleash, which culminates in a glorious finish to the track.
The music video keeps things simple, showing us the band performing the song in the studio, intercut with footage of them tinkering with the playback, but the song itself has much more to offer, especially for longtime fans of the genre. Watch the music video below:
Recently, Stevens talked about working with Butler on this new project. “There’s a lot of times in the studio as a guitar player, you get a guitar sound and you’re trying to make it work, tweaking it,” he said. “There was none of that bullshit. It just fit against his bass sound and it was really exciting to me. I get to hear my guitar against a bass guitarist that I’ve idolized forever.”
As the story goes, Sorum was leading the charge of getting the wheels rolling for Deadland Ritual, with a little help from his friends Stevens and Perez. But it wasn’t until Butler hopped on that the group discovered its true sound.
“It’s not your typical hard rock or metal stuff,” Butler said of the band's upcoming material. “I had to get used to the idea of starting from scratch again, which is good, but I really liked the music I was hearing.”
When Black Sabbath hung up their capes last year, Butler had hinted in multiple interviews that he wasn't quite ready to step away from music yet and also revealed that he had a range of new material to work with.
He said he had “about 120 riffs written down and I’ve just got to pick a guitarist and sort through them.” Well, it seems like Stevens is the man for the job because Deadland Ritual sound as tight as it can get on their first studio release via Sonik Riot Records/AWAL.
Meanwhile, if you're wondering when the band's first full length effort will emerge, it might take a while as the group is all set to hit a string of big festivals to test the waters. Kobalt Records, the label that owns AWAL and is ultimately behind the band's debut release, hinted that while more singles are on their way in the near future, Deadland might have to wrap up their tours first before the debut LP surfaces.
"With festival appearances booked and headline dates in the works, they’ll use the time leading up to that trek to continue writing and recording, releasing singles along the way and perhaps, a LP,” Kobalt said in a statement. “The live shows will be something special, mixing the original material with deeper cuts from their collective past.”
Deadland Ritual's first two confirmed dates are both at summer festivals. They play The Download Festival in the UK on June 14, 2019 and Hellfest in France on June 22. Further details will be announced via their official website.