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Rämlord - From Dark Waters

From Dark Waters
by Alan Stevens at 08 April 2020, 12:21 PM

RAMLORD is a collaboration project of veteran metal musicians, and on paper their credentials promise to birth music that defies genres… unfortunately what comes across is a group who can't seem to agree with one another, run through cliché after cliché and despite their grand statement of going beyond genres, they rigidly stick to the tropes of old, making at times tracks that could be a bunch of well-taught session musicians, attempting too make original music.

Coming at just under 40 minutes, this brief album shines with a highly processed polish that has all the life and energy beaten out of it with the desperate hammer of commercial value. Fans of top stadium acts such as AC/DC and even (cringe) U2, will probably feel at home with this auditorial ballet, but the safe chord progressions, the strict adherence to following the genre guidelines, and dare I say, the cringe-worthy lyrics… *Shudders*. The album begins with “Love Of The Damned,” which has an almost 80's style catchy riffage, with an AC/DC style unmoving bass line. There's some interesting uses of electronic sounds and keyboards but the chord progression and lyrics feel stripped of any personnel expression. “Haunting Over The World,” is catchy with some nice hooks and a few refreshing melodic runs but fails to stand up with any strength. The album chugs along, with rare moments of musical ingenuity among the copy and repeat that grows stale fast. “Chained God” features a change to form, with plenty of Gothic synths added to the chugging, which only grabs your attention with a change to the rhythm, now instead of AC/DC, we've got the rhythm of DIO's “Holy Diver…” some change “Hell Is Here And Now,” morphs back into the classic Rock 'n' Roll homage, with some really high tones and weird backing vocals in the chorus. As the album drags the influences and genres are just hammered back in again and again, and again. “To The Battle” is the final song, and is probably the strongest of the bunch. Featuring some unique guitar tones interplayed with the keyboards, and a nice breakdown in the middle, yet still stiff and rigid, absolutely nothing is expressive or couldn't be replicated on the computer…

The blurb for this album promises a cross-genre, Lovecraftian horror piece, and instead we've been given the watered down, Diet-pop friendly, attempt to be bold and original, while keeping both feet firmly fixed in the common and well-troden. A wild melding of genres and influences, but nothing that most metal fans will not have heard before, directionless at some points, as if the pot was overflowing with the various styles they tried to cram in. Imagine an 80's glam band, hiring a keyboard from the 70's and attempting to make goth rock popular… There's so many things working for them, but unfortunately many of these elements clash and either cancel out others, or makes their presences entirely irrelevant. Also as a fan of LOVECRAFT, I am sourly disappointed in the lack of evil or even horror soundscapes I'd been expecting, in fact there are only a few select tracks that really approach the darkness and horror of HP's work, and even those fall flat and lifeless with all the horror and threat of an Old Lady upset on the tardiness of her bus. Contrast that with the inconceivable vast powers of the likes of CTHULHU, which threatened not only the lives but the very sanity of the characters involved. All in all a meek and common sounding album that feels rushed and sticks to the rules of “How To Make An Album” to harshly.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 2
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

1. Love of the Damned
2. From Dark Waters
3. Haunting All over the world
4. Blindfolded
5. Chained God
6. Hell is Here and Now!
7. Non Serviam
8. To The Battle
Jarno Anttila - Guitar
Niko Karppien – Bass / Lyrics
Janne Mannonen - Drummer
Tommi Kanerva - Guitar
Timo Salmnenkivi - Vocals
Record Label: Inverse Records


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