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Ramage Inc. - Earthshaker

Ramage Inc.
Earthshaker
by Saxon Davids at 21 September 2015, 7:59 AM

RAMAGE INC. are a Progressive Metal band from Edinburgh; since their formation in 2004, they have been steadily releasing material every 4-5 years whilst making a name for themselves. After 1 EP and 2 full length studio albums (the latest release being "Feel the Waves" in 2013), they have now picked up the release schedule speed and just dropped their 3rd full length album here in 2015 entitled "Earth Shaker".

"Earth Shaker" is an album full of heavy riffs, dark atmosphere, intense vocals and very impressive musicianship throughout, with ambient solos and complex structuring, this album and this band have a lot to be admired for. The album opens with the 8 minute title track that catches your undivided attention and piques your interest pretty quickly with an intro that builds suspense, tension and atmosphere right up until the vocals come in almost 2 minutes into the track, at which point you will feel fully engaged with the band and banging your head along with the heavy and almost Doom Metal riffing. With a haunting and suspenseful acoustic middle section, this song is a great opening for the album and gave me a very good feeling about this release, especially having not heard any of their previous material.

However, when we get to listening to the album from start to finish, the first few songs sounded great and kept me really interested… But as each track came and went, I started feeling a little bit of deja vu, everything was starting to sound very alike to the previous tracks and I became quite worried that this would be the case for the rest of the album which would ruin my initial positive feelings. Disappointingly, I was more or less correct in thinking that. Most of these songs have the same feel to them using very similar riffs and at very similar tempos. I got excited when the drums kicked up double time on "Transparency", but fairly quickly slowed back down again losing itself within the pace I was already overfamiliar with during the previous 6 tracks. The only other stand-out aspect that comes to mind after listening to this album is that Bryan Ramage is joined by female vocals on "Break Out". I feel that given this album was given to the right fans; extreme prog/doom fans who won’t mind listening to the same mid-tempo riffing and ambient vocals for 1 hour and 10 minutes then this album will be praised a lot because is a lot of great music happening here but for me personally I feel that an album needs a lot more diversity and variety of emotions, pace and structure. As standalone songs, most of these tracks are very strong indeed, but putting them all next to each other on one album becomes quite tedious very quickly which is disappointing. If RAMAGE INC. released a fourth album with a few faster tracks with more dynamics in the riff department, I think it would be a real masterpiece.

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Earth Shaker
2. Guardian
3. Enter the Whirlwind
4. Within Circle
5. Learn More
6. Break Out
7. Transparency
8. Handle This
9. Dark
10. Loss
Lineup:
Bryan Ramage - Vocals, Guitar
Allen "Hef" Forsyth - Guitars
Marcin Buczek - Bass
Paul "Hammy" Hameed - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 26 May 2020
 

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