Ritual Carnage - I, Infidel
Osmose Productions
12 songs (35'07")
Release year: 2005
Ritual Carnage, Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Alex

If you thought that many things Japanese are known as mystical and unusual, Ritual Carnage takes this notion and throws it completely out the window. Of course, it could be the influence of the frontman Danny Carnage, or simply the burning desire to play unadulterated thrash, but Ritual Carnage has nothing to do with metal genre fringes and crossovers, instead harkening to the old days of Bay Area and Anthrax guitar battering.

Truthfully, I, Infidel, being the fourth release by this outfit, I knew nothing of Ritual Carnage before this album. Partly, it could be that thrash is not my “main” thing (I do not even know myself what my “main” thing is) and I could get some flogging for not giving you a chapter and verse on this Japanese based band. More importantly though, I could get even harsher beating for not liking what seems to be an intense and technical thrash devoid of originality, compounded with the worst vocals this type of metal has possibly witnessed.

There is absolutely no question that guitarists Eddie Van Koide and Wataru Yamadu can rip and shred. The songs can be faster and brutal (Thirst for Blood) or slower and dark (Do Not Resuscitate), it is obvious that all 12 strings on the guitarists’ axes feel the brunt. The solos are always spot-on (notice the fast arpeggios of Axiom and double bass supported riff broken yet still cohesive dual attack in Straight to the Nether Regions). All of this excellent musicianship and technicality goes for naught when production is subpar and vocals bury whatever positives there exist.

It is rarely the case for me when one component of the music can ruin the whole album. But Danny Carnage’s vocals on I, Infidel ruin it beyond repair. His voice is whiny and boyish. He sounds like Joe Belladonna who accidentally lost his left nut, God forbid. The worst part, Danny does not deviate from his approach throughout the whole album, his phrasing and upward voice inflection towards the end of every line becoming annoying in their predictability.

To compound the problem, and to obfuscate other strong band members, Danny’s vocals are pushed so completely in the forefront they do not allow to distinguish individual songs’ riffs, making the whole album sound totally monotonous. With the exception of the cooler parts of the title track, the beginning of Axiom which sounds totally like the world renowned Indians and Straight to the Nether Regions, the whole album blends into a one big thrash blur.

Perhaps the most unfortunate feeling the reviewer may have is that after one listen I didn’t really want to spin I, Infidel again. I have had enough and was done with the album. Due to the hazards of my hobby I had to force myself for a couple of more sit-throughs, but the opinion remained unchanged. Unless you are looking for the B-side quality of some lost Anthrax album or collect every imaginable Bay Area thrash release you can skip I, Infidel. Why would you listen to this if there is Sodom, Destruction, Kreator and both Anthrax and Dark Angel are staging comebacks?

Killing Songs :
I, Infidel, Straight to the Nether Regions
Alex quoted 45 / 100
Other albums by Ritual Carnage that we have reviewed:
Ritual Carnage - The Birth Of Tragedy reviewed by Crims and quoted 85 / 100
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