Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 9/6/2005
posted on 11/2005 By:
Intrigued by the proposition of industrio-prog cum chugging fem-goth, with synthesized raspy black metal vocals and extended violin and keyboard solos? If you are, chances are you're already familiar with Norway's Ram-Zet. As, I can't say I've heard anybody else tackle the scatter-shot style heard on Intra. And, that's probably for the best, as even though Ram-Zet earn points in my book for their intrepid spirit, it's really not something I can stomach in any but the smallest and most carefully consumed doses.
Intra is the ever so common progressive metal album where the whole turns out to be less than the sum of its parts. There's not one particularly unsavory element to be found here, unfortunately, all are welded in a way that makes for awkward or overdrawn tracks. Witness how the merger of lock-step riffing and Miriam Elisabeth Renvåg's despondent vocals play like the heroin-chic older sister of The Gathering on "Born" or "And Innocence." Flemming Rammseth, guitarist and main songwriter, shows brief flashes of brilliance in the six string department, but seems to sell himself short too often without adding to the cohesion of the songs. Imagine a man trying to merge his affinity for Fear Factory and Dream Theater and landing clumsily somewhere in the middle.
But, clumsy isn't really a fair descriptor. In fact, Ram-Zet are incredibly tight performers. The fact that they're such excellent musicians is what makes Intra a bearable listen, as anybody less than grade A performers would simply buckle under the cognative overload required to pull off such fractured compositions. The listener, then, can either perceive Intra as professionaly executed nonsense or sublime alchemy too heady and avante-everything to be grasped by the uninitiated.
I think I'll settle in the first camp. I can't immerse myself in these songs, as much as I'd like to. These guys need to work on writing the kind of songs that will allow listeners to fully appreciate the talents of its individual members, and not just perceive them as scattered pieces of an incomprehensible puzzle.
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