Steven Rice and company return with their sophomore release from his new band Kill Ritual. As you may recall, Rice folded Imagika in 2010 and went ahead with the band he was working on shortly before his old outfit’s demise. They released the Serpentine Ritual in 2012 to great acclaim and now return with a more refined sound and some tinkering to the line-up to boot.
This time around, The Eyes of Medusa finds the band sounding more refined and continuing to receive stellar vocals from Josh Gibson. The versatile singer can deliver mellifluous melodies, but quickly alter his range to encompass that aggressive crunch of the band’s core sound. He’s the perfect fit for this outfit and really helps to get the band’s blend of power/thrash over big time. I absolutely dig his gruff/clean style on “Agenda 21” and he’s on fire with “High Trigger”, as I get hints of Axel Rose coming though. Of course he’s so much more than what Rose could muster on a Gunner’s album though.
Moving on to Steven Rice’s contributions though brings a smile to my face. The guitarist continues to play inspired leads, clearly proving this is the band he belongs in now. I really enjoyed Imagika, but they could never find that comfortable range Kill Ritual brings to the table. His strong playing on tracks like “Ride into The Night” and “Weight of the World” gets my adrenaline going big time. Rice also gets to flex his muscles on “Writing on the Wall” with a number of crunchy riffs, and prolific playing to augment the doomy feel of the song. Clearly this is best track on the album for my tastes.
What you will find on The Eyes of Medusa is a refined sound. Guitarist Roberto Proietti is gone from the line-up and original drummer Wayne DeVecchi has been replaced by Gee Anzalone (from Brain Damage), but that doesn’t stop Kill Ritual from stream rolling ahead. If you enjoyed The Serpentine Ritual then you are going to go ape shit over this one.
Kenneth Gallant, Editor HMS