Ramesses
We Will Lead You to Glorious Times

After sullying myself and this site with an abundance of glossy, wimpy stadium metal, I felt the need to get dirty and grimy and seeing as I already reviewed the Lair of the Minotaur, the UK’s doom merchants Ramesses fit the bill perfectly.

With four lengthy, filthy, down tuned, buzzing hymns of lumbering war anthems, Ramesses’ take on a sort of Southern Lord doom-ish metal is as barren and stark as the post WWI fields of Belgium and with former members of Electric Wizard and Spirmyard, Ramesses’ sound is familiar yet still jarringly claustrophobic. The trio of Mark Anthony Greening, Tim Bagshaw and Adam Richardson make no qualms of using some obvious stoner/doom influences (High On Fire, Buried at Sea), but instead of making their sound fuzzy and hazy with a pot driven, grin inducing atmosphere, they chose to make their fuzzed out grooves nasty, dirty and enigmatically abrasive.

Recorded and mixed in 24 hours, the four expansive tracks are bereft of any sonic window dressing whatsoever, and ooze with a primal rawness that’s refreshing in today’s overproduced metal market. The lurching nature of the music, while rooted in Sababthian doom, has a bitter edge aided by Adam Richardson’s muted, gravelly and effect free bellow that takes a back seat to the music, acting as another piece of the overall wall of sound. His only departure from his harsh approach is the brief, coarse singing that surfaces during “Black Domina”. The feedback drenched guitars and pulsing bass complete the effect, but never seem to be the welcoming warmth of most Stateside stoner doom. The opening rumble of “Witchampton” is a sloth like barrage that sets the tone for the records 30 minute duration, no interludes or intros. The continually rolling, cement mixer delivery is forthright and simplistically primal without being gratingly raw or teeth grinding as the bass levels are kept suitably up front in the mix making for a rattling and thunderous yet crude tone.

The simplicity of the riffs isn’t a monotone drone as per much of this style, but more of a feral grimness that’s laced with a few time changes to keep your interest and prevent snoozing. Only the repetitive vocal nature of “Master Your Demons” delivers a more familiar stoned out pacing (despite its slightly forced but short blastbeat), as “Ramesses II” and “Black Domina” are vast undulating throes and ebbs of caustic sludge.

Ramesses are a solid entry into the normally US led genre and they add some acerbic bite to an otherwise hazy style that seems to drift somewhat. Of you enjoyed the Carnage of Lair of the Minotaur, this is highly recommended.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 3rd, 2004

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