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Half black metal, half heavy metal, epic - 80%

vorfeed, January 14th, 2006

This is an EP from Rampage, an American band playing a variety of styles. This record features both black and heavy metal.

This being the second EP with Aerik Von on vocals, and one on which Rampage has gone for a black metal sound, I was curious as to how it would turn out. Fortunately, Aerik's low, rumbling vocals fit the doomy black metal perfectly, and his occasional clean vocals are a nice touch. The live drums are also a great addition to the black metal style the band explored on the "New World Blasphemy" split CD. Both "Black Flames" and "Ritual Curse" return, here, with improved sound and atmosphere. In addition, "The Winter of Damned Souls" is a neat instrumental intro/outro, and there's one brand new song. "Crimson Frost" is a doomy epic with clean vocals throughout. Equal parts Sabbath and Cirith Ungol, it'll remind you that black metal used to be METAL. I especially like the unsettling solo on this one. A cover of Gomorrah's "Lucifer, Our Father" rounds out the album with an added dose of second-wave black metal, and the two songs from the Rampage websingle are on last as bonus tracks. Both are re-recordings of songs from "This End Up": "Ticket to Hell" is mid-paced, doom-tinged metal, while "Rampage" is a straightforward rocker.

At nearly forty minutes long, this is more like a full album than an EP. Sure, some of the tracks are re-recorded versions of earlier songs, but they sound great here, so who cares? If you like both black and traditional metal, give this a try -- thanks to the variety of styles on "Crimson Frost", most metal fans should be able to get something out of this. Recommended.

Standout tracks: "Ritual Curse", "Crimson Frost"

Review by Vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net