|Review: Ramhorn - Damaged Equilibrium|
Year released: 2007
Review online: January 1, 2008
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 2/5 (40%) (2 Votes)
When I reviewed Ramhorn's debut 'Crystal Vanity', it sounded to me as though the band were struggling to achieve mediocrity. The twilight of 2007 sees them self-releasing album number two 'Damaged Equilibrium', and although there is a definite improvement in just about every aspect from their debut, they still sound like they're missing that much needed spark, unfortunately.
Upon first spin nothing really stands out, but given a chance to seep in a few plays later, songs such as 'Mystic Skies' and 'D.E.S.T.R.O' are actually fairly well written, managing to hold your attention and actually become reasonably memorable. Most songs still have a Candlemass like feel to them, albeit with a greater usage of eastern melodies giving a later-Therion like twist to songs such as 'Chemical Saviour', which also has an enjoyable Maiden-like introduction to it, with good roaming Harris-esque basswork. However, apart from the aforementioned tracks, there are still a few niggling down points again. The production is quite flat, the vocals again let the whole thing down (even though I think I'm right in believing that this is a different vocalist from the debut, it still could use a fair bit of improving in my opinion), and in the main, most of the songs come across somewhat ploddy and monotonous.
That said, compared to their debut, this is fucking stellar. However, I think the layout of the CD sums up a lot about the band, being almost exactly the same as the debut, with all the same fonts, same tracklisting style etc... throughout - the only noticeable difference being the cover art. Where's the artistic flair in that? It's hardly a statement of intent. All being well, by album number 3 or 4, Ramhorn will actually be worth listening to outside of my usual reviewing duties, and the fact that 'Damaged Equilibrium' has actually made me write that is an achievement in itself.
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|Review: Crystal Vanity (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)|
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