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Quite a suprise... - 82%

Lord_Kramdar, February 11th, 2008

This is the latest full-length from Japan's Ritual Carnage, and I must say I am pleasantly suprised. Not at all what I expected, and they have just found themselves with a newfound fan. Now what I was expecting from this at first, was the same old thrash/death style with death style vocals. Come to find out I was gravely mistaken.

The first thing that will jump out at you when you listen to this is the vocals. Damian "Danny Carnage" Montgomery has a very distinct, clean vocal style. Which harkens back to the hey-day of thrash. Although there is clean vocals, there is no "melody" in them. It's very monotone. The best way I can describe it, is think Joey Belladonna's voice meets Katon W. DePena's singing approach. While it can get a little annoying at times (especially if you don't prefer clean vocals), it never feels out of place with the music.

The music, you ask? The music is very straight-forward thrash with minimal death influence. Basically it sounds as though you went back in time to 1988. The riffs are varied, and don't get stale/repetitive. Solos are done tastefully at regular intervals, and double-bass is also used sparingly. The songs are of average length, but in whole, the album feels kind of short, clocking in at just 35 minutes. Very fast, and very energetic. If classic thrash is your thing (in the vein of Exodus, Anthrax, etc...), then you won't be disappointed. I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of their material. Stand out tracks include the title track "I, Infidel", "Thirst For Blood", and "I Am War". Trust me, I'm very picky about my metal, but if you like thrash, give this a go.