Released: 2000, Spikefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Ram-zet?! Doesn´t THAT name remind you of Ramses in some peculiar way? Think again! THIS, Ram-zet, however, comes from Norway and obviously is located ´a few miles´ far away from the blood-soaked savagelands of Ramses, so there´s probably nothing in common with these two ´nickies´? Probably not much, just making me curious anyway...
The striking force of Ram-zet is made up of 3 members basically; Zet on vocals, guitar, keyboards, loops and programming, Solem on bass and rainmaking(!) and Kyth on drums. On PURE THERAPY, which is the band´s fine grande debut, they have used a great bunch of additional musicians - I guess, for achieving even more of cacophonous harmonies and an extreme mental vortex into their psychotic blackprog-metal. At first listen, you may be quite confused and kind of not knowing what to think of them as Ram-zet ain´t your ordinary every day metal act by any means. They have chosen to go through the heaviest yet hardest walls of an extreme music, not letting any musical boundaries restrict themselves too much - and I bet they couldn´t have chosen any better way to rage out and express their own dreadful musical visions about visionally dreadful music(!). Uhm...(!), or something alike.
"The Fall" rips your ears off with one of the most irritating "intros" I´ve heard for a God-long time. Luckily soon a dead-heavy thrash riff wants to join in; kind of bringing the godly Canadian industrial deathsters Inner Thought (remember anyone?) in my mind for some sparkling moments which is cool, I think. And then you probably start to pay attention to Mr.Zet´s vocals as he sounds like he´s about to get choked to something (= his rage?). He´s got a pretty unusual way to give himself away by his distinct, very rugged, metallically sonorous, almost an inhuman voice which supposedly may scare some of you for a passing moment. But like me, I got used to it eventually. All in all, "The Fall" is a very symphonic yet experimental epic song with a great violin virtuosity by the courtesy of Aud Ingeberg Barstad (one of the additional musicians on the album) which provides somewhat beatifully haunting feel to the song.
"King" opens up by a melodious, almost a siren-like female voice of some ´guest´ musician (couldn´t find any detailed credits out of the lay-out for her who should be thanked for it?), but rapidly its beauty and serenity is terminated by the massive walls of pounding, chunky Thrash riffs that basically tend to have a very dominating part in this song. One of the most experimental tunes off the album for sure with its both stormy and calm waters.
And then, while I´m kissing my own shadow (creeps?), the 1st rhythms for "For the sake of Mankind" are filling the air with its strong´n´bold euphonies ´till the end of time. "You´d better bring me down, to find a reason for this pain... You´d better bring me down, I´m not that stupid... dejection...". The chorus for this particular song is pure brilliance. It captures your ears and mind right away. Again, violins - or violin effects, take a major role in this marvellous song. I suppose even the mighty Mozart would kill for a composition for the violins here.
"Eternal Voice" also turns out to be one of the catchiest tunes on this album. Most of the time, it´s a mid-tempo song where Zet and a choir of women do a duet of their lifetime; pretty close to that, however. And when all this is supported by a slight help of a flute, violins, killer guitar work and some sample effects, we have such a great epic song from Ram-zet here as well.
On the other half, I´m amazed by an excellent guitar work of Zet in the middle part of the song; A true guitar-wizardy a bit into vein of Nocturnus/Obliveon with as heavy hands as possible. Even this song comes pretty close to the best picks out of this killer album. Both brutality - and beauty of a passionate Heavy Metal are well in balance in the very track as you´re too about to witness it yourself. Now you can tell who recommended it first.
"Kill My Thoughts" has all the necassary aces for an incarnation of evil. Killing, thrilling... and was killing my thoughts, too; cannot go any deeper below its surface by describing it! No filler - just a ripping Ram-zet song again.
As for "Sense", well, here´s a tip: A guitar riff that doesn´t kill you, makes you wanna try out another monster riff; the very same words for the last song, "Through the Eyes of Children", there you go...
There was a mention on the band´s press kit that "Ram-zet is the best Norwegian metal newcomer of the new millenium...". Couldn´t be more true - I do agree with that statement 100%!! Ram-zet will rule the ruins, goddammit, believe me! And now let the feast begin.