REVIEWED: Ramlord - "Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom"


 

I always find it amusing to read some of the music reviews on sites like Amazon. Virtually every album for any given artist all boast 4 or 5 star reviews. The actual reason for this is that for any given album, the page is full of amateur reviews by people who all love the band. There is very little in the way of objective opinion. If I really am curious to read a review of a particular record, I usually prefer to read an opinion of someone who is not corrupted by inherent bias of established adoration for the artist. Sometimes, it’s even interesting to hear views from someone who is not even particularly a fan of the style of music. I guess this is my build up to my review of the new Ramlord release. Let me preface by saying I do enjoy lots of heavy music. However, I have to admit this falls a little bit out of my comfort zone. I personally enjoy heavy music which has lots of melody and dynamic arrangements with tight rhythmic structures. This band exploits nothing really of the sort. Be that as it may, I am going to provide an objective review of what this album sounds like to me. The way a review really should be.

First off, there is lots of violent discord here. The mood is also extremely bleak and depressing. The band fuses some of the ugliest elements from English crust punk and Scandinavian black metal. The results deliver a hefty slab of brutality. The filthy detuned guitars offer gutter punk power chord rhythms which eschew calculated modal patterns in favour of sheer carnage. There are some brief interludes of dark crestfallen melodies, but even these moments are brief and shrouded in chaos and decay. The frantic drum attack quickly runs between furious blast beats and sludgy breakdowns. The vocals are a blitz of ghastly screams that sound as if blown by foul winds across the grey winter skies of an endless Norwegian forest. The lyrics are largely indecipherable, but I don’t suspect the theme is Happy Birthday.




I realize my description of this sound is not going to sell any new listeners on this genre. Nonetheless, this is a successful endeavor which will certainly garner a legion of appeal to those with a taste for the extreme. While there is an observed reservation for harmony and striking dynamics, this record is extremely well executed for atmosphere and mood.  The production (or lack there-of) is decidedly rough and really contributes to the disturbing, unsettling tone of it all. The formula relies on a vortex of dissonance and despair, and evokes feelings of panic and hopelessness. The sonic backdrop is comprised of despondent cries of desperation and shrieks of torment, while the overall soundscape is positively writhing and desolate. While this sound is certainly aimed for a very distinct niche, this is clearly a sincere work of artistic expression and dedicated execution. 

http://ramlord.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ramlord/116149375131744

- Mark Laffin

noisography

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