On first hearing I was pretty enthusiastic about this album, but a new spin led me to mitigate my initial impression. “I, Infidel” first appears as a true scorcher, and actually it is, but yet I can’t give this one the royal treatment reserved to masterpieces. I didn’t hear a single note coming from the three previous RITUAL CARNAGE offerings before listening to this one, so I experienced the album without any preconception. Let’s say that the sound is phenomenal on this, and compliment very well the rabid American-styled Thrash attack delivered by the band. The strongest point on “I, Infidel” could be found in the vocal department, but beware, it is a love it / hate it situation, because Danny Carnage’s voice stays in the high pitched mode almost all the time, reminding me VIO-LENCE Sean Killian on more than one occasion. Also, the pair of guitarists here are obviously ultra-competent, some solos are truly blazing, and in fact even the rhythm section shines bright throughout the record. “So where is the problem?” I hear you say. Well, despite the undisputable qualities of “I, Infidel” and once the surprise effect vanished, an obvious monotony takes over, because all the tracks tend to sound the same way. I admit it is pretty normal when it comes to a Thrash release like this one, but the overall effect kills the excitement factor after a few minutes, and the record seems longer than the 35 min mark displayed by the CD deck. Maybe the best way to fully appreciate “I, Infidel” could be to listen to some tracks only, and keep the rest for another session, I don’t know. It is sure that RITUAL CARNAGE put a lot of efforts into this to offer the best album possible, and if you are in for a mid-way solution between SLAYER and VIO-LENCE, be sure to check “I, Infidel” out. I am myself pretty sceptical about this one, very cool stuff but not 100% convincing.
• RITUAL CARNAGE - Interview (Frank Stöver)