Full Album Premiere: Hour of 13 – ‘Black Magick Rites’

Hour Of 13

Hour Of 13 is Chad Davis’–yes, he of many evil and delightful acts–formulation of those who came before. That is to say, Hour Of 13 is the contemporary spiritual successor to Witchfinder General, Count Raven, and Saint Vitus. Black Magick Rites, the much anticipated follow-up to the highly regarded 333 (2012) originally saw the other side of the coffin lid as a digital only, self-released effort in the COVID-19 era, but is now re-emerging from binary slumber via Ohio’s lauded Shadow Kingdom Records. Indeed, those soot-covered and beyond-the-other adherents of physicality can now–finally–get their mitts on Black Magick Rites on LP, CD, and motherfucking cassette. Surely, there’s nothing like jamming the riff-forward, transcendently-vocalled “The Mystical Hall of Dreams” while back-roading in a not-so-restored 1976 Dodge Aspen after peaking witching hour.

Too long in the shadows, Hour Of 13 have crafted their magnum opus with Black Magick Rites. From the Birmingham-hand of “His Majesty of the Wood” and “House of Death” to the processional groove of “Return from the Grave” and “The Mystical Hall of Dreams,” Davis scratches our ever-doomed loving itch. This isn’t the sycophantic lust over what hath Iommi wrought, but rather just on the other side–that gray, squishy area of no return–homage. Surely, the three prior full-lengths under the proverbial weightlifting belt of Hour Of 13 haven’t always been as good as Black Magick Rites, but there’s lineage, a supernal line drawn through endless skies, that feels just about right as the world collapses in slow-motion inevitability around us.

Says Davis: “This album, to me, embodies all of the elements that make up the Hour of 13 sound and idea. It has the atmosphere that I have always felt, the music is a marriage of all things that have the Hour Of 13 sound, and this album being a solo effort has proven to me that Hour of 13 is an entity more than a band. The recording process was the culmination of three different studio sessions before scrapping all three and finally nailing it all together in one last session… and that final session is the magick contained on Black Magick Rites.”

Light up the (black) candles… Hour Of 13 is upon us!