|Review: Rampage (Canada) - The Arrival|
Year released: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 19, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
I have some mixed feelings about this release by Toronto-based Rampage (not to be confused with the US band of the same name - or a few others for that matter. ;)) Essentially what we have here is what I usually call "modern heavy metal", obviously rooted in the early metal bands but without sounding like them, rather mixing a more 90s influence - at times some passages remind me of grunge (not a good thing as far as I'm concerned), and of course with modern production. Throw in some progressive elements that elevate the musicianship a notch. There's a slight lack of direction on the album, the songs don't seem to belong together much, but then again this is a demo so that can be overlooked. ;) The vocals are interesting, especially on the last track "Heaven" which in my opinion is the best of the six tracks presented here. I'm usually into the more rocking stuff, but this slow to mid-paced "semi-ballad" is one very good display of talent, both at the musical and vocal levels.
There are some riffs that remind me of stuff from more popular bands, like a passage in "Bloodline" that reminds me of Iced Earth every time I listen to it. Same for the vocal melodies which often remind me of long-forgotten songs (i.e. don't ask me which ones ;)). The third song, "Dirty Work" has the unfortunate feature of reminding me of grunge - it's not grunge but damn it, that's what I think of when I hear it. argh! OK I'm done. Overall the CD has a slightly doom-ish, slightly depressing vibe to it, broken only by a couple of more entertaining songs. There's so much going on here that it's really difficult to keep the review short, so I'll just stop here and urge you to check out their sound samples. A more focused full-length is definitely something I'd like to hear from these fellow Canadians. I think these guys really have something going here and this will not be the last we hear from them... Stay tuned.
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