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Rampart – WWII: Memories For The Future

Rampart
WWII: Memories For The Future
by Will Travers at 19 October 2021, 9:13 PM

Bulgarian Metallers, RAMPART, are back once again after a short five year break since their last release. This time they have returned with the 11 track record “WWII: Memories For The Future”. The artwork showcases some of Europe’s prolific landmarks along with various elements of armed forces weaponry and vehicles, it paints a picture that’s for sure.

Opening the record is “June 22nd”; now, having a fairly good grasp of European history (along with the wonderful Google) I came to the conclusion that this date was the commencement of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, otherwise known as Operation Barbarossa. But unlike the blitzkrieg tactics that the Axis utilised, the music for this was a bit laboured and heavy footed. The transitions were sharp, with the sections seeming to jutter at their interchanges. The layering and depth of music at times seemed a little muddled and confused and unfortunately, Maria’s vocals just didn’t really do it for me. But, there is only one way to go from here and that is up.

But the lacklustre performance continues. “Napalm Stars” is ok. Individually there are some really good elements to the track, but when they come together, they seem to get lost in amongst each other and the mixing / recording quality its self is just lacking in that sharpness that can take the music to a higher level. “Twice Occupied” starts strong, and the music drives it forwards with energy and enthusiasm, but again, the vocals do pull the quality down for me and I am really struggling to see past that.

As the album continues to move along, I keep finding myself torn. Musically I am really quite enjoying the structure and flow. The dual harmonies are delightful and are shored up with a solid rhythm but the vocals are just not up to standard. There are bands out there playing in this style that are delivering that powerful projected vocal style that to be brutally honest RAMPART are just missing. “Stormwalkers” is a great example of this, and I would love to know whether you agree with me on this or if I am being a bit too picky?

I want to focus on one last track, the final track of the album. As always, it is my firm belief that you can gauge the quality of an album on either the opening or final track. “Now We Are One” comes in with some def and delicate flowing guitar licks and builds, that dual harmony being the manifestation of two becoming one. But again, the vocals have let me down. If I were to pick up on another thing though it would be the actual meat of the music. So to say, the bones are all there, it is good music, but there just needs to be a little more gruff about it, some bollocks to make it hit that bit harder.

Overall, I’m kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. Whilst the music is good, just needing a few little tweaks to develop and grow to be great, I’m just really not a fan of the vocals. I would have expected a band with fifteen years behind them and a fairly substantial back catalogue to produce something of a much higher quality than this. For me, it just comes across as a bit of a poor man’s SABATON meets IRON MAIDEN and when there is such talent out there making waves in the scene such as SKYEYE or even the likes of BLAZE BAYLEY still doing the rounds then “WWII: MEMORIES FOR THE FUTURE” leaves a lot to be desired.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. June 22nd
2. Napalm Stars
3. Entropy Of Mind
4. Twice Occupied
5. Luftraum
6. Stormtalkers
7. Wolfsrudel
8. Overcast Omen
9. Harleys In Berlin
10. Black Sun
11. Now We Are One
Lineup:
Maria Dièse  - Vocals
Yavor Despotov – Guitar
Sebastian Agini – Guitar
Svilen Ivanov – Bass
Stefan Mijalković – Drums
Record Label: Sleazy Rider Records
     


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