Guitarist Harry Granroth is the founder of RAM and this is their fourth release. It is already four years ago that their latest album ‘Death’ came out. Two years ago, Daniel Johansson (guitar) quit the band for personal reasons, but they found a replacement with Martin Johnsson. Most of the new songs are written by Harry and vocalist Oscar Carlquist. The style isn’t very different from what we are used from the band and that is just the way I like it – old school heavy metal with a modern production.
Imagine we go forward 40 years and the members of bands like Judas Priest, Accept, Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden, King Diamond and Hell are sitting around a table in heaven (or hell) and are quarreling about which band to play next. Instead of fighting each other to play an album of their own band, this new album of RAM is the perfect compromise for all.
Opener “Return Of the Iron Tyrant” sounds like a King Diamond song with Halford as a singer, or should I say that it sounds like the band Hell? Oscar is a good singer, using his high, but also more raspy and lower voice. Switching from high to low and back sounds very natural and very easy for him. The songs are very melodic and have strong riffs and excellent solos. “Eyes of the Night” has a fast Iron Maiden riff reminding somewhat of “Be Quick Or Be Dead”. After two rather fast tracks, “The Usurper” is a lot slower, but with “Enslaver”, they speed up again. I hear early Vicious Rumors in this track and that makes it one of the best tracks on the album for me.
With “Holy Death”, the high quality of the songs continues without boring for one moment. Except “Terminus”, which isn’t a real song, but just an instrumental with some keyboard sounds. “Forbidden Zone” is blessed with a strong riff and King Diamond influences. The last two tracks breath a very dark melancholy atmosphere. With a nice choir in the dark and bombastic song “Temples of Void” and the spooky title track , the band has created the perfect ending of a fine album.
Fans of the bands I mentioned and also Portrait fanswill have something to spend their money on this month.
01. Return Of the Iron Tyrant
02. Eyes Of the Night
03. The Usurper
05. Holy Death
07. The Omega Device
08. Forbidden Zone
09. Temples Of Void
Playing time: 49:00
Release date: 30 October, 2015
Label: Metal Blade Records