aec.mtb15073.2 1/31/12 New
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ID: aec.mtb15073.2


    Death Metal Blade / Relativity

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Review Text Heavy metal purists RAM emerged from Sweden at the dawn of the third millennium and obviously like to keep things simple, to the point of possible boredom and infinite ambiguity, if the title of their third album, Death, is any indication. But then, the group's music literally bleeds with the hallmarks of heavy metal's more innocent salad days, prior to the endless stylistic subdivisions and great global diaspora of ensuing decades. That's why the songs found on Death are particularly beholden to major forces of the early 1980s whose roots actually lay in the '70s, namely Judas Priest (see "I Am the End"), Dio-era Black Sabbath ("Frozen"), and Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz ("Death…Comes from the Mouth Beyond"). Yet they are also spiked with Iron Maiden's galloping N.W.O.B.H.M. tempos ("Defiant") and Accept's aggressive proto-thrash attack ("Under the Scythe") -- hence the tightly packed staccato riffs displayed throughout. And then there's Mercyful Fate: the occult metal legends' eccentric aesthetic was long spared from easy plundering for mysterious reasons, but now it pervades Sweden's retro-metal scene via bands such as Ghost, Portrait, In Solitude, and, naturally, most everything on display here, whether in overt or barely subliminal fashion (including the cover art). Ultimately, RAM's spin on this increasingly regurgitated template is decently accomplished, not spectacular -- in part because there are only so many tricks to go round and in part for lacking the whole package (sound, image, etc.) of a Ghost. It's all great nostalgic theater, but one can only take so much recycling before deciding to just go back to the original source material. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Death - 3:53
  2. 2. Comes from the Mouth Beyond - 6:10
  3. 3. I Am the End - 4:03
  4. 4. Release Me - 5:00
  5. 5. Defiant - 4:11
  6. 6. Frozen - 7:47
  7. 7. Under the Scythe - 4:46
  8. 8. Hypnos - 6:07
  9. 9. Flame of the Tyrants - 4:17
  10. 10. 1771 - 5:10

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