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Review: Rampage - Monolith to an Abandoned Past
Monolith to an Abandoned Past

Label: Unsung Heroes Records
Year released: 2001
Duration: 72:25
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: June 2, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (6 Votes)

One more Rampage release that is impossible to stick in a specific genre - that's pretty much Rampage's trademark by now (or then - this was released in 2001.) One thing is for sure, you never get bored listening to a Rampage album. Just like the band's other releases, I can spin this all day long and not even think about putting some other album on.

This album has three distinct parts: "Abandoned Past" - three songs dating back to Rampage's beginnings, "End of an Era" which contains two songs that were supposed to end up on an album named "Doom Metal", and "In Memoriam" which consists of three cover songs.

The first part if the more "classic" heavy metal part, with "Doomsayer" being almost Black Sabbath worship but with more agonising vocals, very heavy song here. "Wanderlust" on the other hand is lighter, more in a NWOBHM style and some guitar parts remind me of early Iron Maiden. "Doom Metal" is aptly named, very heavy and slow doom with crushingly deep vocals that'll nail you to the ground

"Whitechapel" is absolute epic doom, and clocks in at some 16 minutes. The vocals are growl-ish but not too much, it's actually not too difficult to ear the words. Very fitting choice for this haunting track. "Cursed With Existence/Monolith..." is another doom track, but bears more ressemblance to early Black Sabbath (just listen to the last few seconds of the first minute - Sabbaaaath!) The vocals are kind of raucous, a bit less agonising in style than on "Doomsayer", but close. Another track that makes you feel like you're stuck under an 18-wheeler.

Covers will be covers. I'm not familiar with Disjecta Membra. The Black Sabbath cover is quite interesting, Rampage giving an interesting twist to a classic. As for Funeral Fog, I think my copy is scratched as it starts skipping pretty bad very soon into the song - what I did hear sounded pretty good, however. This album could very well have done without the covers, as the other material can stand on its own but hey, I don't mind covers as long as they're well done. :)

Reviewing this, I just realised it has been 4 years since this release, the last Rampage full-length. Hopefully there's more in the works. In the meantime, fans of heavy/doom/thrash should get their hands on this one. UHR sell this for so cheap that it's almost a crime not to own it. If you don't find something to like in here, you should just go join the pop music crowd.

More about Rampage...
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