|Review: Ramhorn - Crystal Vanity|
Year released: 2005
Review online: January 24, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 2/5 (40%) (1 Vote)
Well, it's still a relative mystery to me how this CD came to be in my possession (it's a long story, that I won't bore you with), and despite sounding like a rival brand to Viagra, Ramhorn are actually a Greek trad doom band with flourishes of old school heavy metal mixed into the brew. From the band's website, they state that they're one of the true underground bands in Greece, due to the fact they've no record contract – their music is sold only from their site, not for profit, but to allow them to continue creating music without going bankrupt. Well, with hand-wringingly 'elite' statements like that, the chances are they're going for the sympathy vote judging by the music on offer.
Yes, Ramhorn do have their moments, but in the main, they're pretty unremarkable. Sounding somewhat like mid-period Candlemass (so that's BLANDlemass for those not in the know), they create quite a tame brand of traditional doom, with no real spirit or hook to get you really going. Riff after riff flies past, each as ordinary as the last and come the half hour mark of the album, you're already beginning to wonder what the band is trying to achieve. There's no real feeling of melancholy, no solitude and most importantly no depth to the music. Not even in the atmospheric floaty acoustic sections, it tries hard, but fails miserably. It's all very linear and one dimensional, which is quite amazing really, seeing as the album was recorded over a Metallica-like two year period(!). However, the thing that really gets on my tits about this album is the vocals. The guy seems to not be able to make his mind up who he wants to sound like, but for the most part he attempts 'mad cleric' and simply gets 'slightly-wacky nun'. This sort of 'underground' needs to be kept there a little longer to allow some sort of growth methinks….
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