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Review: Rampart - Voice of the Wilderness
Voice of the Wilderness

Label: Inferno Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 43:18
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: January 18, 2010
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.25/5 (65%) (12 Votes)

This one took some time to sink in – at first I was ready to trash this, but since I rarely ever review anything without giving it several listens, I just kept listening, and things did get better. Rampart is a Bulgarian band that plays Heavy Metal with a few hints of Power Metal. This is pretty upbeat stuff – about half way between run-of-the-mill traditional Heavy Metal and happy Power Metal. The vocal melodies are especially "positive-sounding" (for lack of a better word), but it's also where I have a bit of a problem with the album. The vocalist isn't bad, but the combination of her often hitting very high notes (maybe a bit too high) and accent can be a little bit annoying, though with time I kind of grew accustomed to her style and could focus more on the positive aspects. "Age of Steel" is where she shines – I find the actual song a bit boring (it feels twice as long as it actually is), but she doesn't sing as high on it and sounds much better – very soothing song by the way, but somehow feels likes it's 10 minutes long. Things aren't so great when the other members are singing "in unison" – it sometimes sound like they're not on the same page, though there are exceptions.

The music sounds a little bit like Judas Priest meets Aria meets one of the hard rock bands of the second half of the 80s – it's kind of hard to corner their sound. You get some Priest-inspired heavier, darker, razor-sharp riffage here and there, mixed with faster, happier and more melodic parts – a lot more of the latter than the former. The end result is pretty catchy right there on the spot, but I found that it didn't leave too much of a lasting impression: None of this really sticks in my head once the album is over. So this is decent, but could use a bit of refinement, and I think these guys have it in them. Despite the annoyances on this album, Rampart is a band I'll be keeping an eye on in the future.

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