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Did you miss the whole eighties thrash metal movement and want to check it out (in one dose)? Or perhaps you are a fan of the Bay Area and need a new booster shot? The Birth Of Tragedy is the CDification of all that was eighties thrash metal in one package. The Japanese/American group worships at the altar of Slayer, Dark Angel and Vio-lence. Album opener The Sixth Sense kicks things off in high fashion with a vicious riff and establishes the hard riffing and the thrashing vocals and drums. You won't need a sixth sense to know where this album is going. There are no pretensions at originality here either. The shouted vocals barely let up as the band oscillates between older and more recent Dark Angel. The L.A. thrashers apparently are the band's primary influence. You listen to Paradox Of Democracy and tell me the dual vocals aren't all Dark Angel all the time! Fall Of The Empire is a new take on Slayer's War Ensemble and Psycho-Sadistic Psychosis (cool title) is Devastation's Idolatry. Tagged at the end of the CD is the cover of Death's Infernal Death, 'In Memory Of Chuck Schuldiner', which happens to not reflect the rest of the band's work. Originality is a city in Siberia here, but Ritual Carnage are Good musicians with a lot of guitar work, precision drumming with a tight double bass attack and everything else a thrasher might expect.

For a few premature minutes the vocals on I, Infidel (originally named Do Not Resuscitate) throw the listener for a loop, but then the memories come hard and fast. This is venerable thrash metal the way the forefathers played it without resorting to self-parody. The shrill vocals, the unrelenting pounding barrage of bashing metal, the ripping guitars and lyrics derived from the atrocious times we live in all come together to give birth to an angry and combative album inspired by and reminiscent of the heady days of Dark Angel, Destruction circa Eternal Ban and Hirax. The singing of Danny Carnage might still be an acquired taste, like Chuck Billy on The Legacy album or early Vio-lence, but this Japanese-dominated band really knows how to thrash and thrash hard. Track after track lurches at the listener like a predator seeking fresh meat. This is seriously wild, yet the compositional aptitude is clear. Check out the chord progression on Twilight Of The All To Human or any of the leads on the album.
A few words about the lyrics and liner notes are in order though. Terrorism is wrong. America, its voters and people, its government and corporations are the biggest catalysts of terrorism worldwide. If Americans were to practice what they preach, they would observe how they are the biggest source for terrorism worldwide and crack down on themselves foremost. Moreover, if Americans and their Zionist masters do not like the idea of facing guerrilla warfare in Iraq, retaliatory terrorism at home or being targets of shady groups worldwide they can arm their opponents with fighters, tanks and napalm the same way they do themselves and their allies. After all, people will defend their countries with whatever tool is at their disposal. Finally, there is a simple rule in physics that says that in nature every force is countered by an opposite force. How many years did Americans think they can rape the resources of the world, install brutal dictators as puppets wherever they wish to make their corporations a buck, appoint themselves the policemen of the world and invade countries militarily or economically and continue to sit pretty? - Ali "The Metallian"

Ritual Carnage! The name alone tells you this is not your average wimpy band masquerading as metal. In contrast to most bands, the new Ritual Carnage effort, The Birth Of Tragedy, has abandoned all death metal influence and turned out to be a pure thrash metal album. Leading the band is American expatriate Danny Montgomery who bases and operates the band out of Japan. On the occasion of the band's latest album on Osmose Production, Ali "The Metallian" grabbed the chance to question the outspoken ex-US Army, tattoo artist, fisherman, biker and singer.

Danny, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Your current album, The Birth Of Tragedy, is not your debut. All the same will you introduce the band and update the readers with the Ritual Carnage story?
No problem. I recently moved back to my hometown of Tampa, Florida six months ago. I have been living in Japan for the last ten years. Guitarists Eddie Van Koide, Wataru Yamada and drummer Naoya are still living in Tokyo. With the addition of Wataru, this is definitely the most solid line up that we have ever had.

Seeing that the band has undergone several line-up changes, will you clarify who is from which band. I understand you feature an ex-member of King's Evil.
Actually, he still plays with them. They are not so busy, so King's Evil is more of a part time band for Wataru Yamada where he also sings. His main band is Ritual Carnage. Eddie Van Koide used to play in X-Japan and Cracked Brain. Naoya played with Cracked Brain as well.

Ritual Carnage is a pure and proud thrash metal band which wears its influences on its sleeves. What is your perspective on the originality versus the keeping the style pure debate?
When we released the first record, immediately the metal media slammed us into the Retro-Thrash category. It really pissed us off. Everyone in the band is 35 years old. We have been playing this style of music for over twenty years. We thought that we made leaps and bounds on the second album, but the metal media blew us off again. When we were writing the new album, I told the guys, 'let us just write our most devastating stuff and blow everyone the fuck away.' I think we accomplished it. We are one-hundred and ten percent satisfied with the outcome of this record. Hopefully we will get some respect with this release.

In that case, will you speak more about the concept behind The Birth Of Tragedy .To what are you referring?
I wrote the lyrics to the songs initially with Fredrik Nietzsche's influence in mind. When we put the music to the song, I decided to do an overhaul of the lyrics. Here are a couple of examples: the title song is basically about this loser who would have been better off being aborted. Wes Benscoter (album artist) chose the title of the album. He had chosen the titles for our previous albums too! Most of the lyrical content of the new album is quite political though. This whole 9/11 thing is out of hand. The government and the majority of Americans blame Al Qaeda one-hundred percent. In my opinion, I blame the US government 33 percent for not doing their job and attempting to prevent this, blame Al Qaeda 33 percent and blame Saudi Arabia 33 percent for also doing nothing to prevent this. The USA will never point a finger at Saudi Arabia because they get much of the US oil from them bastards. The whole event has lost its focus - incidentally hence the artwork for the album. The US government has become a tyranny. They crucify us and piss all over us.

We can certainly talk more about this. Will you mention a couple more of the noteworthy songs and elaborate on those?
Sixth Sense is basically about me. I have witnessed four suicides while in Japan and I am not even a native of the country. The other guys in the band have never witnessed even one suicide. It's so fucking weird. Eddie said "Death Follows Me" and so I used that line on the song too. Burning Eyes Of Rage is basically about all of the different hate groups that you can find on-line. It's so fucking funny, these idiots and their speeches kill me, they really are fucking retards. It's an anti-racism song. Psycho Sadistic Psychosis is a song about invading some chick's mind while she's sleeping and basically terrorizing her. Women play these fucking mind games at times and so it's my revenge against them. I kind of had King Diamond in mind when I was writing the music to accompany those lyrics. I think the song has sort of a King Diamond feel to it.

Let's pull back one gear. How do you see today's metal scene? How do you reckon things are developing in Japan?
As far as today's metal scene goes, I am glad that the black metal trend is about over. I predicted it when we released our first record that the trend was dying. I still support bands like Impaled Nazarene and a few others, but a majority of that poser stuff was so damn ridiculous and cheap. I have been listening to Nevermore, Motorhead, Iced Earth, God Dethroned, Annihilator, Sodom and a few others lately. I have always been a fan of Sodom. I hear there is this big Thrash movement in Germany, but I haven't heard of any new bands - just the big three from Germany i.e. Destruction, Kreator and Sodom. Japan is still going strong. We recently played in front of our biggest crowds there on the most recent tour. I think it's gonna get even better once they get our new CD. There are many new metal bands there that I have never heard about. Now that I am back here in the States, it's gonna be hard to keep up with the new bands over there.

Yes, even the advent of the internet has not eliminated the language barrier. Seeing that time is short will you end our chat with your latest news?
Sure, we have planned our record release tour to begin on September fifteenth in Japan. Osmose is in the process of setting something up for us in the fall for Europe. Hopefully we will be able to set up some dates in the US too. I said that on the previous releases as well (laughs). We will see I guess.

Thanks again for your time Danny!
Thank you! Beers and cheers!

The Birth Of Tragedy is now in stores. For more information please visit www.osmoseproductions.com.
Ritual Carnage