Kill Ritual is a five-man thrash band from the California; made up buy guys from Imagika, Eldritch and the unforgettable Dark Angel – all meeting after the demise of Imagika.
The most apparent thing about The Serpentine Ritual (and Kill Ritual themselves) is that it is very familiar to Imagika, except due with the different vocal styles provided by Josh Gibson – mostly delving in highs, he often dissolves into moments of deep Phil Anselmo-esque croaks as well as some moments sounding even higher than his usual vocals, like King Diamond.
That said, there are very clear influences from the King Diamond (the album was even mixed by Diamond’s guitarist Andy La Rocque), Anthrax and Judas Priest in their playful story-telling style. Despite the wild attitude, the album doesn’t really portray any real aggression despite the fast-pace and the crunchy guitars; instead it sounds like it would easily fit in on the playlist for a metal party – it’s just outright silly on more than a few occasions, but it is fun!
Songs like “Time To Kill”, “Prisoner Of The Flesh” and “Old School Thrasher” have (perhaps obvious from the song titles) a very old school thrash sound, while “Ambush” and “Law Of The Land” plays with cheesy power metal ballads. While the power metal side isn’t my kind of thing, mixed with the cheerful Anthrax-style thrash elements, it’s too light-hearted to criticise (although “Cold Hard Floor” does bring some heavy cringing with its acoustic and overly dramatic intro).
Sometimes this is the kind of thing that is missing from metal, especially in times where achieving sonic brutality seems to be the ultimate goal. This isn’t going to create devastating walls of death in a live setting (not without encouragement from the band at least) and it’s definitely not going to scare the shit out of any goregrind fan – but it will get crowds windmilling, fist-pumping and beer chugging – which seems to be the objective.
It’s understandable, even though it’s not my ideal cup of tea, why people will find this album fun to listen to, or party to… it’s really hard to be in a bad mood with this blaring in your ears. So if you love a good time with fun, cheesy metal, then The Serpentine Ritual is a must.
01. The Serpentine Ritual
02. Torn Down
03. Time To Kill
05. Old School Thrasher
06. Coat Of Blood
07. Cold Hard Floor
08. Law Of The Land
09. The Day The World Dies
10. Prisoner Of The Flesh
11. My Neighborhood (Bonus Track)
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