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I was a fan of RAM's previous album Lightbringer. It was an album that helped further my interest in the traditional metal scene, which is certainly something I'm grateful for. Death is RAM's third full-length release, and without a doubt the bands strongest to date. It isn't hard to tell that RAM's main sources of influence this time around are Rainbow, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath.
When compared with a lot of their Swedish peers I feel RAM really nailed the old school metal feel this time around, and not only did they nail it, but the made it damn convincing. Tracks such as "Release Me" and "I am the End" reek of pure 70's/80's heavy metal. The power of the riff is fucking mighty here and I really hear Rainbow-style nuances in the guitar work. There is also a lot of Priest-style riffing to be heard, "Flame of the Tyrants" stands out in particular as a glorious homage to early 80's Priest, with those almost gliding riffs Glenn and K.K. are renowned for.
I've found the whole of Death to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience, although I do give the edge to the first half of the album. The opening barrage of tracks display the band's deft skill in their chosen style, and shows RAM at the top of their game. While a lot of bands are doing this kind of thing, I feel RAM bring something different to the table; whilst they proudly fly the flag of traditional metal they don't simply rehash other bands' material. RAM builds on the foundations laid down by the gods and I can only hope they keep bettering themselves as a band. A great start to the year!
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com