Kill Ritual – Karma Machine – Scarlet Records – Release: September 18th, 2015.
Formed in 2010 by former Imagika lead guitarist Steven Rice, Kill Ritual have released two critically acclaimed albums, “The Serpentine Ritual” (2012) and “The Eyes Of Medusa” (2014), and are now ready to unleash their fury with “Karma Machine”, a powerful sonic beast that can be described as the perfect mix of all the band’s influences. Encompassing nine tracks, the CD finds Kill Ritual going from heavy to melodic while retaining their thrash roots. The album was once again produced by guitarist Steven D. Rice and mixed/mastered by King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque. Artwork was completed by long-time Kill Ritual artist Jobert Mello (Sabaton, Primal Fear, Benedictum). ‘Karma Machine’ also marks the debut of new vocalist David Reed Watson, drummer Koryun Bobikyan and bassist Bobby HQ Storm.
Kill Ritual is:
David Reed Watson – Vocals
Steven D. Rice – Guitar
Koryun Bobikyan – Drums & Violin
Bobby HQ Storm – Bass
Karma Machine is Kill Ritual’s third album, containing nine songs that vary quite a lot stylewise. Though a common sound can be heard throughout the album, like the almost ubiquitous guitar solos and squeals but on the other hand very powerful riffs. Another apparent trademark for the album are the rather long tracks, varying from about four up to well over seven minutes.
The band members clearly put a lot of their own influences in these songs, giving them a high level of recognition just short of being catchy. Their overall sound is solid and powerful, both instrumentally and vocally.
To be honest, it took me quite a few playthroughs to get into the album. Some songs like “Camera’s Eye” were immediately to my personal liking, whilst other songs are still ‘growing’ on me.
Though not my most favoured genre, it is not a bad record at all. Clearly a lot of effort was put into this album. Although the tracks are quite long, each song offers enough variation to stay interesting. Fans ranging from Savatage to possibly even Kamelot will be likely to enjoy Karma Machine.
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
Score: 3 out of 5
Text by: Tom Burger