RAM – “Svbversvm” (Metal Blade Records)
Formed by guitarist Harry Granroth in the late 90s, Sweden’s RAM sought to bring back true heavy metal like it was in the 80s. Although not the most prolific band around, they have gone from strength to strength at their own pace, winning primarily on their sound which is essentially a mix of late 70s / early 80s Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate. From Oscar Carlquist’s screaming crescendo vocals to the heavy, raw twin guitar attack of Granroth and Martin Jonsson, RAM are well poised to bring about their reign of heavy metal tyranny! On this 4th album there is a definite step up in the composing, with some truly heavy and dark material giving a mystical and occult atmosphere to the 10 majestic tracks herein, especially with that aforementioned crushing guitar sound made all the more prominent by the big but natural production. Rather than experiment or try something new, RAM have instead opted to refine their sound to perfection and it really works a treat on the more epic material like the fast n tight ‘Eyes Of The Night’ featuring some superb twin guitar melodies completed by the smashing rhythm courtesy of Tobias Petterson’s heavy bass and Morgan Pettersson’s thundering drums! Things slow down for the ‘Usurper’ as thick reverb resonates while Carlquist tells the tale through melodic passion and ear shattering screams on this very Nordic sounding song. For me, it all comes together on the building heavy razor riffing of ‘Temples Of Void’ impressively mixing in suave prog like melodies amid haunting bell tones before transitioning into dark choirs chanting occult mantras with a wild tremolo soloing going off in the background – I never thought RAM this capable and they have impressed me big time with what is their best release to date. Metal on metal, RAM is their name and pure heavy metal mania is their subversive game!!