1/1/2014 - Review by: Eric Compton
The retro throwback bands just keep coming out of Sweden, more so with the hard rock and glam scene than anything else. Ever since the 90s with the thunderous rebound of pure Swedish heavy metal in Hammerfall, the country has never blinked on their constant barrage of all things denim and leather. Now four decades of sterile precision and I am scratching my head on this stuff. I've got hundreds of Swedish metal albums either on digital, tape, vinyl or CD and I really don't need any more. It's the age old question that I have asked repeatedly since 2001. Is something like Ram's "Death" necessary? It sounds great, is performed perfectly but at the end of the day is it really pushing the envelope or providing anything remotely new or interesting? No it isn't but for new fans of the genre this sort of thing is like DC Comics' introducing newbies to Batman and Superman by resetting the universe and calling it the "New 52".
"Death" is Ram's third album to date and first for Metal Blade. The group started in 2003 and have maintained a fairly consistent stab at vintage Swedish metal, all loud and proud in its flaming torch glow of traditional 80s styled culture. The band brandish a fuzzy logic to their guitar tone, reminiscent of Grand Magus and Candlemass with it's down tuned doomy riffs. The band never stay at a slow death for long, speeding up tracks for a stab at retro thrash and speed. I would like to say the rhythm and battery charge of the whole thing is more like other vintage bashers like Early Man and 3 Inches Of Blood crossed with what Bible Of The Devil is currently delivering. It's worth a moment in the torchlight glow but don't expect anything new.
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