Ram-Zet - Escape ©2002 Spikefarm/Century Media
1. "R.I.P."
2. Queen
3. The Claustrophobic Journey
4. Sound Of Tranquility/Peace?
5. The Seeker
6. Pray
7. I'm Not Dead
8. The Moment She Died

Metal on a whole has become a very conservative, safe venture for musicians, particularly in the past five years. In the early to mid-90s, when the genre was very much on the backburner of music's consciousness, metal flourished with many underground bands creating and achieving new ideas within the genre and pushing the envelope further and further. However, as the decade spiralled towards the 21st century, it seemed as though one out of ten bands was actualling attempting to do something beyond imitating someone else. The genre has become cluttered with soundalike bands who act as clones of clones, predating the next Star Wars movie by considerable amounts of time. So when a band comes along that is at least attempting to do something different, jaded metal fans do take note. One such band is Ram-Zet, a somewhat unusual outfit offering a sound that incorporates industrialized, precise rhythms, harsh male vocals countered with angelic female singing, occasional atmospheric breaks and songs that throw several stylistic loops into the mix. Yet, despite this band's best intentions, they still aren't worth running around in little circles in total excitement.

Ram-Zet essentially reminds me of what Skrew might have sounded like had they had further reaching aspirations and been influenced by modern Dødheimsgard. Vocalist/guitarist Zet (who is also credited with performing "stuff" in the liner notes) uses a vocal technique that reminds me of Skrew immensely. Luckily, his female singer has a pretty voice, albeit somewhat plain. Needless to say, I'd rather her do the crooning than him the rasping. The song arrangements tend to have the blender effect. Each song is rather long as no song is shorter than six and a half minutes. During that time, Ram-Zet throws in as much as they can and set the blender on "chop", creating songs that have interesting parts but often do not quite mix together completely. Repeated listens help the songs sound more cohesive but there is a tendency for the music to remain sterile and not quite as dynamic as one might wish.

My hat is off in respect for Ram-Zet for not playing it safe. Considering this is only the band's second release, there is a reasonable amount of potential here. It almost seems as if Escape shows the band trying to hard to sound different, rather than just letting their weirdness flow naturally. It seems as though people are getting excited about Escape more as a reaction to the stagnant, stale metal scene rather than on the qualities of the record. Despite some of its shortcomings, the album is still recommended towards fans of Kovenant (who might be wishing for something a little less simplistic), modern Dødheimsgard or other likeminded, left field outfits.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2002

Back to top