"...Stop killing the dead. They're mine. If you don't want the dead coming back to life, why don't you just kill the living...shoot them in the head...are you listening to me?"
One of an extremely small number of good things to come out of New Jersey, Krieg (alongside other pioneers Judas Iscariot, I Shalt Become and others) is one of America's premier Black Metal assaults. Lord Imperial showed great growth and development as a songwriter and musician across 5 or 6 main releases, but the primary focus of the earlier Krieg albums is an unrelenting sonic attack: pure hatred in musical form. "Destruction Ritual" is, I feel, the best example of this. It comes across mostly as a maelstrom of (strangely well produced) noise, bass non existent and guitars largely inaudible underneath the hurricane of blastbeats and manic screaming vocals. You're not meant to think of it as a group of seperate songs with features of their own as such (although there is plenty to distinguish the individual tracks even to the untrained ear), more like a singular mood soundtrack to being incredibly pissed off. That's my view, anyway.
Speaking of the music, the playing is tight as hell, actually. The drumming is very focused and pummeling, not sloppy as is normally associated with more raw BM outfits. The vocals are some of my absolute favourite ever in this genre, Imperial is just insane and passionate behind the mic on this one without sounding too silly like some more extreme vocalists sometimes do. The guitars buzz away frantically beneath, some riffs are occasionally detectable if you pay close attention, and there are clean parts that stand out fine, obviously. You may want to listen to this on a decent soundsystem to be able to pick out much detail. There aren't any lyrics to be read in the booklet, occasionally you can pick out some lines that sound great to me ("When I stop to cut myself, I crumble into dust..."). Samples of spoken word are used effectively, to open the album (the quote above) and at other times during some of the interludes across the disc (e.g the brilliant monologue from the end of "American Psycho" in "Suicide Amidst Katharsis").
This is an album that can only really be fully appreciated when the listener is in the right mood, as is the case with a fair bit of black metal. When you are, I find it to be one of the most effective forms of aural stress relief there is. Being from NJ, it doesn't suprise me how pissed off Imperial sounds on this album. I wonder what he thinks of this twat?