THE RITE was formed in autumn 2017 when A.th (Black Oath) and Ustumallagam (Denial of God) joined forces to create a band that exclusively plays morbid black metal, praising complete and utmost darkness. Their influences range from iconic bands such as Mercyful Fate, Death SS, Celtic Frost, Samael, Goatlord, Ripper, and others, as well as occult literature. The music walks a fine line between slow and dreary parts and fast and merciless attacks, but by and large, it falls into the black/doom
The recording of THE RITE’s five-track mini-album, The Brocken Fires, was finished in August 2018 and originally released on tape by Unholy Domain Records in October 2018. In August 2019, the mini-album was then released on CD and 12″ vinyl formats by IRON BONEHEAD and successively received a great response from the underground scene.
In July 2019, THE RITE performed their debut show at Denmark’s Metal Magic Festival. In the autumn of that year, the band performed their second show, this time in Italy. Around the same time, THE RITE entered the studio again to record their debut album, Liturgy of the Black, which contained 10 tracks of morbid black metal, including a cover of Ripper. The album was released in June 2020 by IRON BONEHEAD, showing THE RITE creating an atmosphere of darkness and the occult rather than focusing on speed or technicality. The music, written by A.th, this time incorporated both guitar solos and keyboards while staying true to THE RITE’s original path of mainly slow and heavy black metal. The lyrics, penned by Ustumallagam, covered various intriguing subjects such as pure devil worship, devotion to the dark, strange rituals, and the afterlife, and the man’s characteristically creepy annunciation brought those subjects to undead life with drama and intensity.
Around the turn of 2020 to 2021, THE RITE returned to the studio to record new tracks for two upcoming releases. Some of the tracks were included on a split CD with Coven of Impurity, released by Cursed Recordings (A.th’s label), and one track was featured on a split 7″ EP with Bezwering, released on Headkick Music (Ustumallagam’s label) in May 2022, after facing cursed delays. The split CD with Coven of Impurity sold out quickly, and most of the copies of the split 7″ with Bezwering were sold within a few days.
In 2022, THE RITE’s lineup underwent some changes. The original drummer, P. Guts, was replaced by someone else who the band parted ways with just days before their third show at Winter Metal Magic in Denmark. War D. (Morbus Grave) stepped in at the last moment and saved the day, and has been with the band ever since. A second guitar player was found in M. Desecrator (VomitVulva, Funest), making THE RITE a five-piece band, even stronger in their live performances.
Despite being busy with both Denial of God and Black Oath, THE RITE began working intensely on the follow-up to Liturgy of the Black. After some initial rehearsals, their second album was recorded in December 2022. Titled The Astral Gloom, THE RITE’s new album contains another 10 tracks, proving as dark and dynamic as ever, with creepier excursions into quieter territory and an even more heightened atmospheric element without losing any heaviness – thus, the title The Astral Gloom is more than fitting. That heaviness is provocatively played to the hilt with this two-guitar lineup, and the lead parts evoke a macabre majesty only hinted at before. Once again, THE RITE choose a unique cover – this time, the Lollipops’ “Naked When You Come,” an eerie psychedelic pop song from 1966 – and they truly make it their own.
With this new lineup bolstered and better than ever, THE RITE seek to take their morbid metal to the stage more often and promote The Astral Gloom as fully as possible. The black bells toll more ominously than ever, the veil between worlds begins to open…step forth into The Astral Gloom!