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Forgotten Heavy Metal Albums: "The Birth of Tragedy" by Japanese Thrash Metal Band Ritual Carnage

Updated on August 10, 2018
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

The Birth of Tragedy Front Album Cover

The front album cover for The Birth of Tragedy depicts how the band feels society is. They feel that society seems to be unraveling at the seems. And the unfortunate reality for humans is that death is the end result.
The front album cover for The Birth of Tragedy depicts how the band feels society is. They feel that society seems to be unraveling at the seems. And the unfortunate reality for humans is that death is the end result.

It Takes a while to really get into this band

You hear it all the time that there is no such thing as luck. At least that’s what I thought for years like many of you may have. The truth is though that we really are lucky if we think about it. In my musical evolution, I have turned the corner. One of the albums worth reviewing is the one called The Birth of Tragedy by Japanese thrash metal band Ritual Carnage. Ritual Carnage is a band that has heavy music and even though I would listen to a song by them here and there, they were not really a band I could get into enough. With 2018 here, that feeling has changed. The Birth of Tragedy is one of those forgotten heavy metal albums that deserves credit. The band's status is unknown now but consider yourself lucky if you give this album a chance.

Lineup for the album The Birth of Tragedy

Damian Montgomery-vocals and bass guitars

Eddie Van Koide-guitars

Wataru Yamada-guitars

Naoya Hamaii-drums

Perspective on the Album's Title

Here is some perspective about the album’s title. Birth may be seen as a tragedy as the title track addresses that death sometimes seems to follow us. I consider birth a part of the life cycle and life is one of the greatest gifts known to man. There are hardships in life but there are also many pleasurable moments as well.Birth and entry into this world is not a tragedy but it is a chance for us to show our talents and skills that we have been blessed with as we all have a mission.

The Sixth Sense is a GOOD opening song

Ritual Carnage was formed back in 1993 after Damian Montgomery left the US Air Force. He was stationed in Japan so forming the band for him was easier. 1993 was also the year that American thrash metal band Sacred Reich released Independent their best album. The opening song The Sixth Sense is about a sort of creature called The Reaper who comes to wage war upon the land. There are seven warriors, horsemen that are riding their horses to do battle in war. Horses were used before the world had tanks and advanced weapons. I wonder if the inspiration for the lyrics came from Metallica’s song The Four Horsemen or not.

The Sixth Sense

How Damian Montgomery's vocals are like

The title track is about a child that is born and comes into the world being mentally impaired and the child’s growth is stunted. There are environmental factors that can led to this. Unlike other Japanese thrash metal bands such as Sacrifice and Casbah, Montgomery’s vocals although they are of the shouting type are not as harsh as those of Casbah. They are also not as hoarse as those of Sacrifice. The next song Burning Eyes of Rage is similar lyrically to the song Anger by Helstar but this song is better to listen to.

The band's lyrical themes bring up several social issues-including Taxes

Paradox of Democracy is a song that is critical of the US government specifically. The band has lyrics pertaining to war, politics, and other social issues. The song tries to bring up the point that there is no democracy for the so-called “land of the free.” As the government incurs massive expenses, there is much waste, fraud, and eventually people that do not show their tax returns. I bet most of you know what I’m referring to here. The melodic song called Fall of the Empire is a very good song that talks about the War on Drugs and the War on Terror being massive failures which they have been on numerous fronts. One of the other excellent songs on the album is the one called Grave New World. A catchy, slow heavy guitar part is followed by a faster guitar picking part. This song is a classic example of one in which the lyrics try to say that when we are born, we are already in a mess because we will inevitably be in debt. Taxes must be paid or we face imprisonment. The song is also a criticism of the measures to enact gun control. In my view, we must have proper gun control measures because too many people lose their lives each year due to gun violence. The United States is not as bad of a country that the lyrics try to suggest but there are massive problems with the United States in the modern era.

Favorite Japanese Thrash Metal Band

What is your favorite Japanese thrash metal band of the following?

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Discography of Ritual Carnage

Year Released
Album Title
 
1998
The Highest Law
 
2000
Every Nerve Alive
 
2002
The Birth of Tragedy
 
2005
I, Infidel
 

A Few Final Thoughts About the Album The Birth of Tragedy

While The Birth of Tragedy has lots of melody and good guitar play, Ritual Carnage still is not as good as other thrash metal bands such as Annihilator. Even so, for metal fans around the world, Ritual Carnage should be a band that they should give a chance to. You just might like this album and this band.

The Fall of the Empire

Vocals of Damian Montgomery

How good are the vocals of Damian Montgomery?

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Grave New World (Very Catchy Song)

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

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