2012 has been a great year for metal as a whole, no matter the sub-genre. One band that put out a great and enjoyable debut this year was thrash’n’rollers Kill Ritual with The Serpentine Ritual (reviewed here). Featuring lyrics about parties and metal, along with infectious guitar riffs, the album reinforced the fact that thrash metal is still very much alive and kicking, and so lead axeman Steve Rice gives us an insight to the birth and ways of Kill Ritual…
Rich: Hey guys, would you like to introduce yourselves and name your roles in the thrashing Kill Ritual?
Steve: Steve Rice-Lead Guitar, Josh “Crimson” Gibson-Vocals, Roberto Proietti-Guitar, Danyael Williams-Bass, and last but not least Wayne DeVecchi- Drums.
Rich: So, first of all, how did the forming of Kill Ritual come about and how did you guys meet and organize yourselves after the ending of Imagika?
Steve: After Imagika folded in 2010 Wayne and I decided to form a new project with the intent of using some of the material we had worked on before the end of Imagika. We just got the word out that we were looking for new members for a new band and were contacted by the rest of the guys and it all came together in about 3-4 months time. We continued the writing thru out the whole search so when the line-up was complete we were ready to start tracking the debut. We had the CD recorded within a year of starting the band. It’s all gone pretty fast because the guys are all old pros.
Rich: How did the idea behind the band name come about?
Steve: That was the hardest part of the whole formation of the band, coming up with a suitable name that hasn’t been used or didn’t sound ridicules. We just did the old word combo game and the name Kill Ritual is the one that we agreed upon.
Rich: The Serpentine Ritual is your debut release, how was the recording process with new people since each of your past bands/projects? What influenced your particular sound on this album?
Steve: Like I mentioned the recording process was pretty easy since the guys play well and have a good amount of past studio experience. It was time consuming on my end since I took on the task of recording and engineering the whole project except for the mix which my bud Andy LaRocque handled. We just wanted a recording that was pretty indicative and true to what a real band sounds like without it being overhyped and beat detectived, and auto tuned to death like most metal CDs these days. It’s really hard to tell if what you’re hearing from a lot of bands is even humanly possible. I wanted to have a little of the old school approach to really playing the shit warts and all and making it presentable with a modern sound. I think we got pretty close.
Rich: How has feedback been so far for the record?
Steve: The reviews have been pretty solid. The fans response has been great also. We’ve seemed to have got the best reviews from the UK, Italy, Greece, Spain and the US. Germany has been ok. The same for Scandinavia. There are still a lot of markets like Asia and South America to reach so we’re just getting it up to speed.
Rich: I noticed in the official video for your single for “Old School Thrasher” that one of your members is wearing a Napalm Death shirt, not a band that would immediately be associated to your music. Are all of you into extreme types of metal in general? Any particular favourites?
Steve: Of course we all like a lot of different styles of metal and music in general. One thing we never ever discussed in the band was bands, or influences. We just kind of assumed that if we were playing together it would be metal and we’d be open to adding whatever elements made the songs work. I personally, dig a bit of commercial black metal stuff like Dimmu Borgir or progressive stuff like Opeth and Gojira. I know we’re all fans of Death and Coroner. I would just never write material like these bands because it’s not how it all comes together for us.
Rich: Musically, you guys throw back to sounds of the 80’s thrash era but with a crisp, clean quality. How important do you think it is for people to remember the roots of genres, or is it something that can be worked around after so many waves of new bands?
Steve: I would agree that we definitely have a Thrash base to our sound, but we also bring in a lot of classic metal and NWOBHM and some more modern elements with our use of 7 string guitars and down tuning, but we try to write in the classic metal format. I think the term that best describes our sound is Thrash and Roll.
Rich: Thrash metal is making a big comeback now, thanks to the likes of Municipal Waste and Bonded By Blood, after those periods of nu-metal and metalcore/deathcore seemingly ruling the waves. How do you feel about the resurgence of thrash? Does it have the credibility of 80’s thrash?
Steve: Well the music has survived because it definitely has an appeal and attitude that metal fans enjoy. The best Thrash always had a commercial aspect to its sound that helped make it huge with great songs with memorable parts that are the golden rule for great thrash tunes.
Rich: Which currently up-and-coming bands would you guys recommend to any readers, who are your favourites right now?
Steve: Truthfully I haven’t spent that much time listening to new bands these days because I’m always working on my own music. So when I’m not doing that I don’t sit down with music and take a listen like I used too. I recently heard a Irish progmetal band called Shattered Skies that I enjoyed.
Rich: So what does Kill Ritual have planned for 2013?
Steve: We are already working on our sophomore CD and will complete it in May. We’ll also being doing US dates throughout 2013 and hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to hit other places in the world also if they’ll have us.
Rich: Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say to fans and metal fans in general?
Steve: Thanx for checking us out if you have already and if not please do. Will be around awhile!
Kill Ritual are:
Josh Gibson (ex-Rawk Candy, Seven Days Straight) – Vocals
Steven Rice (ex-Imagika) – Lead Guitar
Wayne DeVecchi (ex-Imagika, ex-Doom Society) – Drums
Roberto Proietti (ex-Eldritch) – Guitar
Danyael Williams (ex-Dark Angel) – Bass