The origins of RITUAL go back to 1977, when Didier Retelet (guitar), Igor ? (bass) and Eric De Boeck (drums) started a band called WEAVER OF INSANITY. That band played live for the first time the next year (in Jette) and started to get some press interest (in the likes of En Attendant, Pulsion, ...) from then on. In October of 1979 they were even invited for a live gig on Radio LLN. Plenty of line-up changes happened in 1979 as well, and eventually the band changed its name to INSANITY. In 1980 INSANITY recorded a demo and continued to play live, but in 1981, after another of their numerous line-up changes, they decided to change their moniker once again. And thus RITUAL was born.

The 1982 RITUAL line-up consisted of André ? (vocals & bass, ex CINEMA), Didier Retelet (guitars) and Laurent Duprez (drums, ex ASPHALT). The band proceeded to play gigs whenever and wherever they could, resulting in the offer to record one song (Mr. Desnoyer) for a compilation LP released through Music Lovers Association in 1983. Other bands on that limited (1000 copies only) release include DRAKKAR & WHITE NIGHT.

In 1984 RITUAL's line-up changed drastically with the addition of new recruits Raymond 'Doc Sinus' Roobaert on bass (ex SINUS) and Alain Vandenberghe on vocals. Alain had previously been part of ATTRACTIVE BURIAL, CRYSTAL SWALLOW and STORM. ATTRACTIVE BURIAL produced a mixture of punk, new wave and hard rock and were formed in 1977, with Alain on drums! After a couple of gigs Alain decided to switch to vocals. Eventually ATTRACTIVE BURIAL changed its name to CRYSTAL SWALLOW. In the mean time Alain had joined FM hardrockers STORM as well, in 1979. STORM went on to have one of their songs (The Voice Of Storm) included on the Metalmania compilation LP in 1982, and they played a lot in Wallonia. In 1983 Alain quit CRYSTAL SWALLOW, as they were evolving into a style that he could no longer relate to. And Alain left STORM as well, as he had no desire to live a life full of excesses any longer. Alain would also start another project, on guitar this time, called INCUBUS, in 1984, while already being a member of RITUAL. INCUBUS was a MOTÖRHEAD influenced speed metal trio that also included Otto ? on bass and Gazman on drums. They released one demo.

Later on that same year another line-up change took place : drummer Eric De Boeck (WEAVER OF INSANITY's original drummer, back in 1977) rejoined forces with Didier, replacing Laurent Duprez. Laurent had trouble keeping the pace right and was asked to leave. Eric had been in a freejazz band together with Igor after they had left WEAVER OF INSANITY.

More live shows followed and towards the end of 1984 (in November) this line-up was ready to record their first official (4-song) demo. Paternoster, Spaced Out, Last Night For The Demons and Prediction were recorded and mixed at Pyramide Studio in Beersel, with engineer Luc Tijtgat. Things sounded really good in the studio, but the band was disappointed when they heard the final result. They were aiming for a sound similar to BLACK SABBATH's Volume 4 LP, but Luc didn't manage to achieve that.

Actually, earlier on in 1984 RITUAL had already recorded a demo that was never spread around. Nobody seems to remember which songs were on that first tape, but fact is that it was recorded with Juno Martins in control. Juno of course went on to become famous as the guitar player in OSTROGOTH later on in the 1980's ...

In 1985 Alain was asked to leave INCUBUS. As a matter of fact, he wasn't happy with the fact that the rest of the band wasn't ambitious enough : all they wanted to do was to stay in the rehearsal room forever, rather than to go out and play. When Alain returned from a holiday abroad he found out that the band had hooked up with a new guitarist in the mean time, leaving him no choice but to leave.

Alain then formed a new band, HITCHIKER, together with RITUAL roadies Eddy De Logi (drums) and Marc 'John' De Ruwe (bass). Eddy and Marc had been in a Boogie Blues band together prior to this. Meanwhile RITUAL was still going strong as well, playing live shows all over Belgium, but mostly in the Flemish part of the country, thanks to Metallysee Concerts. RITUAL was in fact the opening band at the very first Metallysee festival at the Sint-Anna Zaal in Aalst on June 29th 1985. The line-up that day was completed with FIST ATTACK, AXEL, ROCK IN PEACE, BAD LIZARD and OSTROGOTH. The band also played live on July 27th 1985.

RITUAL also participated in the Metal Race talent contest in November of 1985. They managed to reach the semi-finals (on November 3rd at Zaal ATC in Zottegem), but they didn't advance to the final in the end. Reason being that they were said to be 'too professional' ... and thus were disqualified. They did however win the Press Award or Audience Award on that occasion.

On December 28th 1985 RITUAL were second on the line-up for the third Metallysee festival at Zaal Jachthoorn in Outer (Denderhoutem), after SODOM (!) and prior to FACT, IRON ANGEL, BLIND FURY and KREATOR. On February 22nd 1986 CYCLONE supported RITUAL at Le Foyer in Braine-L'Alleud. And on March 8th 1986 BLACK KNIGHT and LIGHTNING FIRE opened up for RITUAL at La Gaieté in Frasnes-Lez-Buissenal.

In late 1986 a friend of the band by the name of Nicolas Parent decided to release RITUAL's demo on vinyl at last. Only 500 copies were made of the Ritual EP. Most of those (at least 250) were still stocked at Raymond's parents' house when Raymond died in 1997. Contrary to popular belief, they were not sold to a second-hand dealer, somebody just picked them up without Raymond's parents knowing. To this day nobody seems to know for sure what happened to those missing copies, but it's quite possible that someone is still making a lot of money by selling copies of this rare piece of vinyl every once in a while. The Ritual EP would've become collector's item anyhow ...

Fact is that the band wasn't entirely pleased with the way the frontcover came out in the end : in stead of grey & white it should've been black & white. The Ritual EP was released in early 1987 at last and the band received a couple of excellent reviews. They also played live at Zaal Pede in Sint-Lievens-Houtem on April 25th 1987, opening up for TARGET and OSTROGOTH.

Tired of the fact that no label seemed to be interested in the band, RITUAL decided to throw in the towel during the spring of 1987. Other reasons were the constant lack of money, plus the fact that it was getting harder and harder to find opportunities to play live. And besides, thrash metal was starting to reign supreme in those days ... A final farewell gig took place on June 26th at Le Foyer in Braine-L'Alleud (in between openers WHITE NIGHT and headliners OSTROGOTH), before the various members continued their musical careers in different bands.

Alain was still involved with HITCHIKER as well of course. But in 1988, when Didier (known as H.H. Del Rio from then onwards) decided to join on bass (!) (thus replacing Marc De Ruwe), they changed their moniker to DREAM MACHINE. RITUAL's former rhythm section (Raymond & Eric) on the other hand joined GREENHORNS. Sadly enough both Raymond and Eric were deceased before the beginning of the new millennium. Raymond (° October 14th 1956) died in his sleep from a liver disease on July 8th 1997. Eric (° November 18th 1960) lost a long battle against leukemia on October 28th 1999.

In February of 2000 Alain contacted Didier (aka H.H. Del Rio) and they decided to resurrect RITUAL. The new rhythm section then consisted of Jeanf Vranckx (ex FALLOW) on bass and familiar face Eddy De Logi on drums. And Alain played guitar, as well as being the singer. The first gig of the reborn RITUAL line-up took place on April 4th 2000 at Planet Tattoo in Ans (near Liege), together with PULVERIZER. On May 26th 2000 RITUAL entered the Polygone Studio in Brussels and recorded six tunes. Engineer in charge was Paul Delnoy, of LA MUERTE fame. Shortly after the recordings of the demo bassist Jeanf was replaced by Xavier D. (ex DEVIATE).

More shows followed : together with the likes of TROUBLE AGENCY (in November, at the Rock Classic in Brussels) and AFTER FOREVER (December 15th at the same venue). But also with RASA SKANDA (at Planet Tattoo on September 9th and at Brussels based D.N.A. on December 7th). Also, in October 2000 three of the recorded songs (Too Late To Change, Rising Insane, Just Want Some Rush) were released as a limited demo-mCD. It was the band's intention to release the remaining three songs later on as well, but this never happened. In fact, hardly anyone is familiar with Fucking Bastard, Soumission and Presence.

In 2001 a couple more shows followed at Den Auwel in Laakdal (April 28th) and at The Frontline in Gent (August 16th 2001, with EVERGLOW). Eventually RITUAL ceased to exist later that year. Not due to the usual musical differences, rather due to personal issues.

Towards the end of 2002, or early 2003 drummer Eddy De Logi joined THEE PLAGUE OF GENTLEMEN.

These days Alain Vandenberghe is still active in a heavy band called THE GUILD. THE GUILD started out in 2002, shortly after the re-united RITUAL was laid to rest for good, and recorded a 4-song demo in 2004, at the In The Air Studio. These days THE GUILD includes Alain Vandenberghe (vocals & guitar), Nicolas Claus (guitar, ex PSYCHOTICS), Sylvia Bongiovani (bass) and Didier Antonis (drums). A first full-length CD is in the works ...

RITUAL live @ The Frontline, Gent, August 16th 2001 (picture courtesy of Eddy Vermeiren)
RITUAL live @ The Frontline, Gent, August 16th 2001 (picture courtesy of Eddy Vermeiren)
RITUAL live @ The Frontline, Gent, August 16th 2001 (picture courtesy of Eddy Vermeiren)


1983 : Monsieur Desnoyer released on New Performances For Soundproof Rooms compilation LP (Music Lovers Association)

1984 : Demo I {Paternoster, Spaced Out, Last Night For The Demons, Prediction}

1986 : Ritual (EP, Black Ritual) {Paternoster, Spaced Out, Last Night For The Demons, Prediction}

2000 : Demo 2000 {Fucking Bastard, Rising Insane, Just Want Some Rush, Too Late To Change, Soumission, Presence}

2000 : Ritual (demo-mCD, Independent) {Too Late To Change, Rising Insane, Just Want Some Rush}

Ritual EP (frontcover)

Consulted people

Alain Vandenberghe

Related links

First posted

October 18th 2006

Latest adjustment

November 21st 2007 (June 9th 2007, January 15th 2007, December 12th 2006)

[Back to bands index]


[Back to top]