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Misogyny, Thy Name Is Woman

Rampage - Misogyny, Thy Name Is Woman ©1998 Unsung Heroes Records
1. The Wigglesnake Blues
2. Kill Ya Tonite
3. Dead Rot
4. The Round Mound Of Rebound
5. Cocksucker
6. Deathcrush
7. Bloody Leg (the Wifebeater Mix)

You can blame Rampage on the phenomenal growth of technology over the past ten years. There once was a time when truly disturbed, misanthropic and downright curmudgeonly people didn't necessarily have access to recording studios to unleash their nasty musical visions upon the world. But thanks to the rise of the ability to record at home for rather cheap as well as CD burners and high quality printers, any miscreant can be his own band. Rampage is simply proof of that. It is truly up to the listener to decide if this ability to home record with ease is a good thing.

In the case of Rampage (who are always forced to refer to themselves as "The True Rampage" since other Rampages have existed in the past), the first recorded effort by the project (a one man band featuring "Lord Vic") is a mixed bag of intentionally offensive lyrics, fuzzy, dirty guitar playing and a mix between rockabilly groove and death metal. Between "The Wigglesnake Blues" and "Kill Ya Tonite", you would think Rampage is a down and dirty rock'n'roll act in the vein of some of these new school dirty rock bands like the Hellacopters (not the best example, but it's the one I'm sticking with). But more vicious, crud-ridden numbers like "Dead Rot" or the entire sub-thirty second run of "Cocksucker" are going to chase off the pompadour, grease-is-the-word crowd and probably beat on them with an inverted crucifix. "The Round Mound of Rebound" is sure to offend any feminist, open-minded college student majoring in sensitivity courses or definitely your mother. But for those who have forgotten Type O Negative's "Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty Of Infidelity" might need a reminder that sometimes the healthiest way for a male to deal with rejection and heartbreak is through thorough catharsis and exceptionally vicious lyrics. It's better than downing a six of Miller High Life and pounding on the round mound.

Overall, Misogyny, Thy Name is Woman is most definitely a low-fi (though decent sounding) outing that has more than a few shortcomings. The rockabilly, Elvis churning first two songs are definitely a hoot, but the more base dips into death metal are somewhat disappointing. Either way, the appeal of Rampage is still limited to those who liked only the ugliest thrash of the 80s or think most music is overproduced.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2001

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This End Up

Rampage - This End Up ©1998 Unsung Heroes Records
1. Bloody Leg
2. Born In Hell
3. Ticket To Hell
4. Satanic Symphony
5. Satanic Death
6. Heaven's Gate
7. The Spectre
8. Rampage
9. The Gates Of The Abyss
10. Six Bells At Midnight
11. Eve Of The Hellstorm
12. Jailhouse Rock '98 (The Emperor Mix)
13. Witches' Sabbath / XXX

Still plying his homebrewed lo-fi wares, Lord Vic took Rampage into a slightly more sinister area with This End Up and yes, you might recognize some similarities in the cover art with some 80s thrash band named Possessed. This End Up is most definitely homage to that certain horned fallen angel as well as a bevy of anti-Christian anthems that probably should be taken with the grain of salt that was required when dining upon thrash music of the late 80s. Unfortunately, the majority of This End Up lies untouched like the overly dry complimentary bread that some restaurants might serve before the meal. It's definitely something you don't want to fill yourself up with when there are tastier meals to be found out there. This End Up of course has the lo-fi, home recording production issues. While by no means the level of early Sodom recordings, the fuzziness of the guitars is omnipresent and everything seems a bit too condensed and hey, who truly likes condensed milk? The songs generally fall into the slow paced, neo-death/thrash and tend to lope along without a ton of flair or excitement. It is very easy for a listener to become distracted while listening to Lord Vic rant about the number "666" or bemoan his "Bloody Leg". While there still may be appeal to fans of the dirtier segments of old school thrash, This End Up is going to be buried far far under the rest of the CDs in my collection.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2001

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Bellum Infinitum

Rampage - Bellum Infinitum ©1999 Unsung Heroes Records
1. Up From The Depths
2. Rainbow Skies
3. Sisters Of Death
4. Storm Over Avalon
5. The Wakening / Soulsword
6. Excalibur
7. Nemesis
8. The Vow
9. The Final Day / Into The Great Beyond
10. Orbis Tertius

After hearing the somewhat amusing Misogyny, Thy Name is Woman EP and the rather unbearable This End Up, Bellum Infinitum is a rather pleasant surprise from Rampage. This album ranks as Lord Vic's first truly serious and well thought out album. While the previous releases had moments of promise, Bellum Infinitum is rather enjoyable through and through. The only similarities that remain between this and earlier efforts are the home-brewed production values and some of the vocal styles Vic has used in the past.

What makes Bellum Infinitum stand out from past Rampage efforts is the concentrated effort on focused songwriting. There are hints of old school epic metal, such as a tad of Iron Maiden mixed with mild modern doom metal influence in the mood. The album is technically a concept record, although a story about elves battling for supremacy in times before modern man isn't compelling enough to encourage me to decipher all the lyrics. The lyrics are delivered in both a grating hoarse rasp and wavering clean, high pitched singing. The music, however, is where this album's strength's lie. The guitar lines are well written, with leads and solos enhancing the main thrust of the song. The bass is intelligent and underscores the song while often carrying its own countermelody. There are hints of keyboards in the very faint background. Moreover, there is absolutely no silliness involved anywhere and Rampage thus can be taken much more seriously.

While this is still far from being a contender for album of the year for 1999, Bellum Infinitum could be seen as the kind of "power metal/fantasy metal" album that black metal fans can take home without being embarrassed by the silly tendencies of that genre. Hopefully this is a good omen for future things to come for Rampage.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2001

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