RITUAL CARNAGE - "THE HIGHEST LAW" (OSMOSE)
Sometimes I read a review that causes me virtually instantly to run to a record shop and get the album in question. This was one of them. Was I disappointed or not?
Ritual Carnage, primarily a Japanese band, deny being retro-metallers. Nonetheless, it's difficult to not to classify them as such. In Germany, Sacred Steel and Hammerfall are leaders of the retro-metal pack. Over on the other side of the globe, Ritual Carnage carry the flame with rather a bit more aggression. Hammerfall sounds quite friendly and Sacred Steel, well, the music they make is rather good but you can't really take them seriously. Well, I can't, anyway. They just look and act too funny. Be that as it may, Ritual Carnage doesn't sound funny. They sound down-right mean, full of power, and quite relentless. None of the 30+ mercilessly crammed, action-packed minutes fail to convince. But fact is that 30 minutes, really, is a (big) tad on the short side. Had this been a 45+ minute CD with a little bit more variation perhaps, it would doubtlessly have received full rating. Maybe next time.
Written October 1998
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