Released: 2009, AFM
The first RAM release was quite well received on this web-site. I guess I can join the bandwagon, because LIGHTBRINGER is a really decent record. Many in the metal community seem to have a compelling need to categorize or label bands and music. So, in that spirit I have heard people say these guys are ‘retro’ or ‘revivalist’ or ‘old-school’ which I suppose is accurate, but to me it’s just kick-ass Heavy Metal. This style has never gone away so it can’t really technically be ‘retro’. The sound is still as fresh and current as it was in 1985. I know that sounds odd, but if something never goes away, how can it come back. Most of those people who label this retro, didn’t really follow metal in the underground and don’t realize that there are dozens and dozens, of bands still playing Heavy Metal.
In terms of being metal, Ram certainly have all the necessary elements for an enjoyable listening experience. We have clear, loud powerful vocals courtesy of Oscar Carlquist. He has a nice vibrato in his voice reminding me of Mike from Slough Feg a touch. There are some gang-vocals for back-up as well adding some depth. The songs churn along at a decent pace, pounding and grinding, but not getting too fast or frantic. Good sturdy riffs are the back-bone of the songs as is the key with good metal. The guitar tone is down and dirty but not too raw and the songs are punctuated with some nice, but not showy soloing.
LIGHTBRINGER is a great record, easy to head-bang too, finding that nice balance between heaviness and melody that bands like Iron Maiden so easily achieve. Their song, ‘Suomussalami (A Few Of Iron)’ clocking in at 9 minutes is their own ‘Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’, as it is easily the epic center-piece of this record. This review might be a bit on the short side (for me) but what more can I say. Great band, great album and certainly worthy of your attention.