Kill Ritual – All Men Shall Fall

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Kill Ritual - All Men Shall FallReviewed: March, 2018
Released: 2017, Dissonance Productions
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Pete Mutant

Kill Ritual from San Jose, California have been pretty productive since their inception in 2010 and have released their fourth full release in ‘All Men Shall Fall’, eleven tracks of good ol’ California thrash metal. Standing not too far away from the Bay Area, San Jose has a pretty varied metal scene and has produced some really talented bands such as Exhumed. Kill Ritual are pretty far removed from Exhumed but they have quite a few qualities and I must say that I rather like this brand of thrash. There has been a well chosen addition to the lineup with guitarist Byron Nemeth (ex-Mayhem, ex-Amon Ra, ex-Prodigy) joining forces with the band for this fourth pillar of the Kill Ritual pantheon.

It certainly isn’t the heaviest kind of thrash out there and has many stylings closer to more 80’s metal but with a pretty modern and speedy twist. On a scale from Motley Crue to Nifelheim, the band falls somewhere near Voivod but not as jazzy. They have great catchy tunes like the second track ‘This Addiction’ and can bring a solid chorus such as in ‘Megalomaniac’, although fitting that word in as a lyric was a bit of a stretch but it worked out alright in the end.

There’s some great lead work throughout and some solid variances in techniques and effects used to add an edge to the music. ‘Save Yourself’ also works well in this regard and shifts things into some dark but groovier territory. There’s a nice mix and I can’t help but mention the nuances that bring Van Halen to mind. Let’s face it…the vocalist David Reed Watson sounds just a little bit like David Lee Roth (it’s like so close or something) and I can just imagine the bloke diving about with a vest on, chest out with furry snow boots on in near desert-like heat.

The mix is pretty solid with all components being represented well. The production is clear but there’s a slight digital fuzz on the tone of the guitars which is pretty standard nowadays but it is still pretty good. There’s a lot of pinched harmonics flying out in the riffs and solos of Steve Rice which are picked up well and we don’t really lose too much of their charm. The tone in the band’s power ballad ‘Dead Man On The Water’ is bang on the money as we get seamless shifts from the clean passages to the high gain, muscle popping mightiness.

Things are pretty groovy towards the end with some real southern groove being prevalent through tracks like ‘Sin’ then ‘Lies’ before we slow things down again for the last track ‘Kage’ which rounds the album off nicely. A pretty decent effort with lots of enjoyable music but without too much of a cutting edge. There’s a lightness to the mood of the album which is more down to earth rather than going through some vague and elusive concept that pushes the boundaries of time and space so there is a rounded nature to the music. They are a highly productive band which does not sacrifice the quality for the quantity and their output is very consumable but a few lineup changes can always help keep things fresh. ‘All Men Shall Fall’ has California all over it and so if you like thrash which is galvanized by the blazing sun in the golden state then let Kill Ritual be your guide.



  1. Tales Of Woe

  2. This Addition

  3. All Men Shall Fall

  4. Megalomaniac

  5. Save Yourself

  6. A Reimagining

  7. Dead Man On The Water

  8. Heart Collector

  9. Sin

  10. Lies

  11. Kage

Kill Ritual
Kill Ritual

Band Lineup:
Koryun B – Drums
Steve Rice – Guitars (Lead)
Bobby HQ Storm – Bass
David Reed Weston – Vocals
Byron Nemeth – Guitars

Band Websites: