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Every Nerve Alive
Released: 2000, Osmose Productions
Ritual Carnage is basically the musical beast of Danny Montgomery, a native of Florida USA who now lives in Japan and is home base for Ritual Carnage. Montgomery has been many things - a member of the US air force, a biker, a tattoo artist and now a thrash metal lord. The music on Every Nerve Alive may be nothing new, but it's executed to near perfection. The style of music is clearly thrash metal. To my ears I hear influences from mid to late 80's Slayer and Kreator and a touch of Morbid Angel. The music on this CD is just BRUTAL. The sound quality is also very in your face and thick, no doubt a result of the recording location - the band traveled to Morrisound in Florida to record the CD. The guitar sound is excellent as is the earth shaking kick drums. For some reason though, the snare drum sounds a little thin.
The CD opens with "Awaiting the Kill" which has a way too long "Hell Awaits-ish" type of intro (without the backwards whispering or the demon growl). Once the guitars come in things start to pick up. The guitars begin with a slow chugging riff and as it builds the drums come in with a very catchy riff. It then goes to the next level with double kicks at a slightly faster tempo. It's not until approximately the 3 minute mark that the thrash pace is really set for this track. It kinda sounds like a mixture of Morbid Angel with a good dose of Slayer!!! This was a very cool way to start off the CD. It sounds as if the guitars are down-tuned to probably drop-D. Despite the down-tuning the sound does not turn to mud as is often the case. Eddie Van Koide provides the leads throughout the CD and they are VERY good. By that, I mean they suit the music perfectly. When they come in they totally RIP - this guy can really shred! I don't know if that's this guy's "real" name - I mean the "Eddie Van" part. It's clear that Koide likes tapping in many solos but it sounds more like the tapping of Trey Azagtoth (Morbid Angel) then something like "Eruption."
Some other songs on the CD that stood out is "The Wrath" which has some very nice galloping thrash triplets. This track is just great for all out thrashing brutality. Another of my favorites on the CD is "Escape From The Light" for the reason that it introduces clean guitar and in a couple of places clean vocals all while maintaining the heaviness of the other songs. I really like the beginning of the track "World Wide War" and "Scars of Battle." Both have some very cool harmony guitar parts - especially "Scars..." The band also recorded 4 cover songs for the vinyl version of this album. My promo copy contained them all. Of note was the inclusion of their cover of Metallica's "Hit The Lights." The guitars and drums are played almost note for note but the vocals are a little more abrasive. Other than that there's not much different about it. I prefer the original Ritual Carnage material to this cover. I guess it's ok for them to pay homage to their influences but this whole cover thing is so OLD.
One thing is certain - this band will make you want to headbang! This CD could of easily been written in the late 80's but with the quality of the recording you can tell it is not. If you like the more raw sounding thrash of late 80's Slayer, Testament, Kreator, etc. then this band has picked up that torch.
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