Destruction Ritual is Krieg‘s acclaimed full-length… but I would say it is pushing it a bit too far calling this a “full-length” recording: 4 of the songs are included in The Church and I believe most of the remaining songs are re-recordings of old demo tracks. But okay, let us call it a new album for the moment and move on to what Imperial (guitars, vocals, effects) and Duane Timlin (session drummer) brought forth, with a little help from Judas Iscariot‘s Akhenaten in the engineering of the album.
The oh-so-evil hymns in the CD are Destruction Ritual, To Wander The Stars, The Ancient Dwells Beneath, As Graveyard Rites As Darkness Fell, Coldwind Flame, The Immaculate Whore, Suicide Amidst Katharsis, A Crumbling Shrine, Black Ash Snowfall, Enhanced Soil Where Fierce Battles Once Raged and Still Waters Shall Remain Their Tombs.
As a (direct) result of these being old tracks re-recorded, the general feeling is that Krieg remained faithful to the original raw, hateful, fast, brutal and grim BM roots. There are no keyboards, no nice melodies, no warm feelings here. That is the good thing about this album (in addition to the interesting intro. Even though intros have become almost standard and the everyday cliche, I liked it all right). At least one does not have to put up with all these happy black/pink metal clowns. No bass was used on the recording of this album. The production is good (for the raw standards one would have in mind). I would even say it is better than most raw releases of late. The only flaw is the low (almost inaudible/incomprehensible) guitars.
The album is not that varied. In a way, I guess it does have some of the typical American Black Metal (if there is such a thing) touch, because I could not really place this album in Europe. The main difference being the better played drums. The highlight of the album is definitely the double bass pedal technique. One word of praise to Duane!
It is tiring to see all these “true BM” bands, whose only claim to fame is to say they are evil and trendless and “fuck posers and sissies”. I cannot really say Krieg are much different in that respect: after all, it has become the next big trend to say “Fuck Trends”, so basically whatever one does in the music scene nowadays is a paradox in the least (or a very big stunt). A paradox which is enhanced when looking at the booklet. There are of course no lyrics (I am not sure no one needs them anyway) and the cover is as usually very interesting (mostly for its simplicity). HOWEVER, for someone who shouts “Death to Mankind” and “We hate you all” all the time, Krieg have a seemingly HUGE thanks-list, occupying the inlay (for a clearer picture, you should know the black/white booklet has 4 pages). Quite striking.
It has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between all these raw bands and give each their own personal characteristics. Krieg do have their own touch, in a way sounding like a faster version of Judas Iscariot (with a different guitar sound, WHEN you can actually hear it). “Destruction Ritual” is clearly an album which is not for the masses, mainly because it sticks to the same basis from beginning to end (a polite way to say they might get boring). I am sure their “fans” will forgive them for that.