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Unrelenting vicious hatred - 89%

SoundsofDecay, May 27th, 2014

One of the pioneering US black metal acts alongside Judas Iscariot and I Shalt Become, and in a similar spirit to those other bands, New Jersey's Krieg (the brainchild of core member Imperial) is one of the purest, most visceral and uncompromising black metal assaults. It cannot be denied that Imperial showed depth and willingness to change and experiment with success, as later albums will reveal, but the earlier Krieg releases are the purest and most straightforward in terms of intent and delivery. One, Destruction Ritual, is up there with the most unrelenting and hateful black metal albums. The aural manifestation of fury and nihilism.

Listening to this album is like the perfect stress relief for bad times. Had a shit day? Spend a while absorbed in this beautiful cacophony and you'll feel right as rain again. Destruction Ritual hits the less trained ear as a whirlwind of non stop pounding drums, barely audible buzzing guitars and furious screeching vocals. I spent years listening to some of these songs before I began to pick out some of the finer details. It works so well as a seemingly chaotic vortex of cathartic bleakness that it didn't really matter that I couldn't actually tell what half of the riffs were. Its mostly down to the production of the guitars. With attentive and repeated listening, however, songs do begin to emerge. The drumming is incredibly focused and tight (its Cryptic Winter playing, so no surprise there) and barely lets up for the whole album. The guitars are, like I said, mostly quite hard to distinguish unless you pay a bit of attention, but otherwise function perfectly well as a swirling, vaguely melodic fog in the background. Imperial's vocals are simply insane and passionate, and probably my favourite vocal performance on any black metal album. There is no bass. It clearly wasn't necessary.

Occasional clean guitars, ambient and spoken word interludes provide a relief from the onslaught, including Patrick Bateman's chilling monologue which concludes the film "American Psycho", a theme Imperial was later to return to. Thought obviously not the kind of thing to be listened to all the time, Destruction Ritual is a fine piece of cathartic musical relief, a weapon and a shield against the ills of the rapidly dehumanizing modern world. Anyone who dismisses this release on grounds of "bad production" is missing the point, and shouldn't be anywhere near it in the first place. This is black fucking metal in the best tradition (given that extra bleak, hateful edge that the Americans can do so well), a raw display of emotion and power with zero compromise, and zero consideration for such things as being easily accessible. It quite clearly doesn't give a shit if you like it or not. And that is why I love it.

krieg fucking sucks - 20%

Noktorn, January 8th, 2011

This isn't just the emperor not having any clothes. Not by a long shot. This is like learning that the emperor has no clothes because he sneaks in your window at night naked and gets in bed with you because he's an old man with dementia. Yes, Lord Imperial. You're the old man with dementia who sneaks into my bed every night. I should really start locking my window. I don't know, never really thought about it before.

So yeah, this is the second album by Krieg, the project mainly spearheaded by Lord Imperial, the fattest, most obnoxious person in USBM. To be fair, his loathsome personality makes perfect sense; I'd probably be a bigger asshole too if I'd managed to make bank off shitty, effortless music for years. 'Destruction Ritual' is one such shitty, effortless album. I'm always suspect when guitars are recorded before drums- well, 'suspect' isn't the right word. 'Aghast' would be more appropriate. Aren't drums the main rhythmic skeleton of most metal? They're sort of crucial in determining mood and structure. Unsurprisingly, Krieg does not overcome this deficit. Listen to Cryptic Winter blast over the most inappropriate riffs imaginable and you'll see.

Not that those riffs really deserve much; they're absurdly plain, derived from old Norwegian black metal as well as other USBM artists but categorically lack atmosphere and nuance. It's all tremolo or stereotypical 'haunting' arpeggios- with blast beats, of course- and evidence no sort of creativity. The lack of bass makes the thinness of the riffs (and production quality) even more obvious than they would otherwise be. There's absolutely no effort on the part of the musicians to make this come across as anything more than poorly played, blandly arranged USBM apart from some throwaway moments of cheap ambiance which could come right off of... well, any other shitty black metal album out there. It's moderately aggressive and relatively raw, but nothing more.

I seem to be missing all the nuance here that others are identifying (as well as on any other Krieg release). Care to find it for me? Is it when Lord Imperial eats the first hamburger or the second?

Let The Ritual Begin! - 90%

Sigillum_Dei_Ameth, December 11th, 2007

Krieg have always been known as one of the forerunners in the USBM scene since their noisy announcement in the late 90's. Profanatica/Havohej mastermind Paul Ledney laid the groundwork for the scene to become its own and not worry so much about the international BM scenes in general, but to make damn sure the yanks were making the correct noise. Along side such bands as Judas Iscariot, Thornspawn, Absu, Black Witchery, Bloodstorm, and a handful of others, Krieg became one of the more violent USBM bands that kept the black metal fire ablaze in the underground through those troubled years when everyone was buying CoF and Dimmu Borgir albums...actually now that I think about it, it's somewhat the same today :P
N.Imperial gain notoriety of being a bit of a loudmouth and was nicknamed "devil pig" after the Von song title due to him being so fat(No, he IS fat). After releasing the kvlt/tr00/grim/whatever-description-you-can-think-of debut "Rise of The Imperial Hordes", Krieg then started to dish-out a handful of 7's and demos while not up to standards with some who prefer their black metal to be squeaky clean, for others such as myself it's the kind of black metal that we praise and accept no substitutes.

What you won't get here is the extremely studio production that will clean up anything that won't sell over 25,000 copies. You're not going to get keyboards. And you definitely won't get shitty lyrics dealing with limp-wristed subjects such as vampires or childish satanic praising. What you WILL get is a band that takes influences from bands such as Beherit, Archgoat, VON, Darkthrone, Moonblood, Profanatica, etc. Raw, chaotic, barbaric, cocaine-speed induced frenzied black metal but with the right amount of melodies mixed in that gives it a good epic feel to the guitars. The bass is not as audible as on "The Black House" but then again it doesn't detract anything from "Destruction Ritual". Cryptic Wintermoon's drumming is pretty impressive and his double-kick comes off like a 50 caliber machine gun. The best part is that it's not triggered either(to the best of my knowledge). Lyrics covering the philosophy of Nietzsche such as 'might is right', you are your own god, and good ol' nihilism. And a production that works just fine and is every bit listenable even if some so-called Metalheads will make you think otherwise.

One of the most recognizable features of Krieg is N.Imperial's voice. Literally this guy has a fucking rack. I mean this guy just scares the shit out of me at times. I would love to see N.Imperial take on my grandmother who suffered from dementia for most of her life in a screaming contest just for shits and giggles. He can go from Nuclear Holocausto-type growls to the most deranged, venomous screams of torture ever. At various points you can tell he literally wants you to perform some grizzly act of self-mutilation or possible suicide.


The majority of "Destruction Ritual" is mainly comprised of the same qualities as stated. But just when you think Krieg would put out an album that is nothing but the same song over and over again think again. There is actually a good sense of progression being shown as far as breaking up the blackened noise Krieg creates. A few horror movie samples here and there. One sample taken from "Cemetery Man" kicks off the album's title track, and "American Psycho" which Krieg would actually record a concept E.P. based on the story itself years later. It's excellent in the fact that it enhances the absolute disgust and lack of salvation Neil has for humanity. There is even some dark keyboard-based tracks("Suicide Admist Katharsis", and "Still Water Shall Remain their Tombs) much like what would be found on Beherit's "Drawing Down the Moon" that gives the listener a break from the calamity it has suffered from so far. Also not to forget a lot of the songs on here are found on past releases in their original form from "The Church E.P.", and "The Black Plague" compilation. I have both and it's great seeing that Neil decided to give these songs the proper production and correct representation of the apocalyptic-like destruction that they have to offer. The best thing about "Destruction Ritual" is that it sets you up to the even much more deranged "The Black House" and BRUTAL "Patrick Bateman" EP which shows Krieg at the apex of their ability to craft albums that actually makes "Destruction Ritual" seem like mere child play.

Standout tracks; Destruction Ritual, To Wander The Stars, As Graveyard Rites...As Darkness Falls, The Immaculate Whore, Black Ash Snowfall

Utterly insane! - 91%

rasmushastrup, March 7th, 2007

Ever since Slayer's 'Reign in Blood' came out I've been listening to extreme music. In recent years, I've begun searching for the most extreme among extreme releases, and one of my most deranged, insane, brutally extreme cd discoveries has been this album by Krieg. Now, this is exactly what your parents would label 'just noise', and for once I wouldn't disagree. This is absolutely wild, ugly, and beautiful. No melodies, no riffs to speak of - just uglier-than-buzzsaws-sounding guitars, blastbeat drums and truly hatefilled, demented screaming. I love it! But if you prefer your black metal 'symphonic' or 'melodic' or otherwise shiteish, you've got to steer clear of this cd. Standout tracks, you ask? Well, not really. This album does sound quite uniform all the way through, but that does not, in my humble opinion, make it any less great. This is black metal for people who prefer the raw, uncomprosing thing. I do - this is as great as it is evil.

Krieg - Destruction Ritual - 80%

vorfeed, May 11th, 2004

Artist: Krieg
Album Title: Destruction Ritual
Label: Red Stream

This is the second full-length album from Krieg. As would be expected from Krieg, it's raw, chaotic Black Metal.

I've always liked Krieg's work, but I'd be the first to admit that they've never been a very technical band - they place spirit and atmosphere before clean production and neat instrumentation. As far as I'm concerned, that's just as it should be.

That said, the first thing I noticed upon listening to this is the one hundred percent improvement in every aspect of this band. The guitar work is much more precise, while still corrosive. The drums here are also miles better than on the "Rise of the Imperial Hordes" recording. The vocals are the best performance from Imperial since his work with Weltmacht - in many places I think they're even better. Best of all, the aforementioned spirit and atmosphere that is Krieg's hallmark is still present.

The songwriting deserves special mention, as Krieg has added a good deal of complexity without compromising aggression. Some of these tracks were present on Krieg's "The Church" Mcd and "The Black Plague" collection of early recordings, though they seem to have been re-recorded for this album. Even so, this album is a must-have for anyone who has found worth in Krieg's earlier works. Those who have previously shunned the band may also find this album of interest, as it represents the finest example of Krieg's attack to date.

Standout tracks: "Destruction Ritual", "To Wander the Stars...", "Enhanced Soil Where Fierce Battles Once Raged"

Review by Vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net

Aggressive.... - 79%

Vlad_Tepes, March 21st, 2004

Destruction Ritual, my introduction to Krieg. I was impressed to begin with, but after a few listens, this is good at best. Though, this has to be the most aggressive black metal i've listened to, and possibly the most extreme. Right from the beginning, Imperial shows what this band is about, pure blasphemous noise, focusing of extremity and absolute destruction.

A short, spoken word introduction sets an eerie mood for the album. It's quickly followed by a screech of guitars and a wall of blastbeats and Imperials painful rasping scream. Most songs follow the simple and sometimes effective structure of almost constant blastbeats and grinding guitar work. The drums are relatively quick throughout the album, and it almost works, but often the grinding speed becomes rather monotonous. As previously mentioned, the guitars are raw, grindy and abrasive. Also, this album features no bass guitar at all, which gives it a somewhat piercing scratchy sound. Adds to the pure hateful atmosphere. Imperial's intense vocal display is outstanding, ranging from horrific shrieks to a rasped shout. A decent effort, but after 40 or so minutes, i'm usually pleased it's over.