Album Review: Rituals of the Dead Hand – With Hoof and Horn (Dunkelheit Produktionen)

In 2018 the world witnessed the reincarnation of the infamous ‘Buckriders’, various gangs of vile robbers who terrorized the borderlands of Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands in the late 18th century. Led by their menacing captain, they sold their souls to the Devil, rode by night on the backs of flying goats and mercilessly pillaged and burned the houses of god-fearing Christians across the dim and bleak marshlands…

The unholy Belgian three piece known as Rituals Of The Dead Hand, fully embraced this piece of dark folklore and translated it into a relentless attack of old school death/black metal on their debut ‘Blood Oath’, an album hailed by critics and fans alike.

Now, three years later, the shadows are moving again… On their second offering ‘With Hoof And Horn’, Rituals Of The Dead Hand walks the same path of no-nonsense, old school extreme metal updated in a modern and contemporary atmosphere. Again, the four lengthy tracks dive into the legends, myths and tales of the notorious robbers who were ultimately caught, tortured, trialed and executed for their horrific and blasphemous acts…

The album will be released on May 1st 2021.

Awesome inspirations resulting in awesome heavy metal, Rituals of the Dead Hand have crafted a uniquely disturbing but fascinating album here. Four mammoth sized tracks of blackened death metal and one short intro, it’s an album that oozes cold atmosphere in desperately dark ways.

Under a moonlight night, the lights are being snuffed out and good people are hiding in the darkness. All through fear of what lurks outside. The soundtrack to such terrifying horror? With Hoof and Horn. The ritualistic evil shimmers and glistens on the surface of intense metal noise. The riffs, leaden and soul-churning. The bass and drums akin to the march of hellacious beings looking to do you harm. While the vocals serve as both the warning and herald of things to come.

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This is a tome detailing events that could be little more than urban legends. Each track a chapter to make things all the more real and all the more unforgettable. Credit to Rituals of the Dead Hand, they really make the stories feel alive.

Their exceedingly strong grasp of instrumentation, a willingness to evolve the tracks as they go on, keeps these lengthy offerings interesting. It is music with savagery but it’s not savage music. There’s control, a lot of power and even more poise. Rituals of the Dead Hand are in complete command of the blackened death force that emanates from this album. It permeates through the mind, like fog drifting over a bay.

It’s far easier than you think you lose yourself in it. At least for 43 minutes.

Rituals of the Dead Hand – With Hoof and Horn Full Track Listing:

1. Praesemino
2. Sulphur
3. Inception
4. The Defiling Days
5. Vuurstaeck




  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Rituals of the Dead Hand - With Hoof and Horn (Dunkelheit Produktionen)
  • The Final Score - 8/10
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