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Released: 2015, Scarlet Records
This is the first review of a Kill Ritual album on Metal-Rules.com, despite KARMA MACHINE being the bands third album. I’ve been a fan of the work of Steve Rice for years so I can’t really explain why it took me so long to get to this band. In case the name of Steve Rice is unfamiliar he was the main dude behind Imagika. We have reviewed a good chunk of the seven Imagika albums so it is high time we got caught up with Kill Ritual.
KARMA MACHINE came out in late 2015 on Scarlet Records in possession of a bizarre looking, but still very cool album cover. The crunchy, America Power Metal contained within is well-written and well-produced. In the year since the last album, THE EYES OF MEDUSA, there has been a complete and total overhaul with three new members joining founder Rice. The new singer David Reed Watson ahs been slugging it out in the underground for years and his excellent performance will be a big step in gaining him some more name recognition. His mid-range voice has a good combination power and grit making is just perfect for this kind of Metal. I would have liked to hear him mixed just a little higher in the mix, but that is just me I like my vocalists loud. The new rhythm section keeps things nicely anchored and pounding along at a solid mid to fast pace. Rice is in fire at times he shreds up a storm on the wicked instrumental ‘My Green Room’.
The songs aren’t complicated or overly elaborate, just heads-down good head-banging tunes built around some good riffs and a sense of driving urgency with out leaking into speed Metal territory. There are not really too many extra features, such as keyboards, or interludes, or acoustic stuff or spoken words bits, cover tunes etc, …it’s pretty meat and potatoes Metal…the song starts, the song ends, there could be a bit more flair but that lack of imagination is certainly compensated for by the shredding guitar. One of the highlights of the album for me comes oddly enough at the tail end of the album, the cut ‘Camera’s Eye’, with a nice, melodic vocal line accompanied by some acoustic guitar reminding me perhaps of Circle II Circle. I’d like to hear a bit more of these little elements scattered across the album, maybe a few more tempo changes or some more adventurous arrangements might take KARMA MACHINE from a solid above average album to really great album.
Kill Ritual and KARMA MACHINE can stand proud as an excellent record of classic, albeit, very slightly uninspired US Power Metal. I’d stack this up against any album of this style in the past few years. Metal to the core, it is certainly worth investigating.
1. Just a Cut
3. The Enemy Inside
4. The Key
5. Karma Machine
6. My Green Room
8. Land of the Dead
9. Camera's Eye
David Reed Watson Vocals
Steve Rice Guitar
Bobby HQ Storm Bass
Koryun Bobikyan Drums
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