Take The Curse
posted on 7/2010 By:
You know, I would have bet that Ramesses would be a household name for doom fans by now. Mind you, it’s not that I’m not a betting man, it’s just that no one seems to want to take my bets on the prospects for fame of heavy metal bands. Anyway, as I was saying, even ignoring for a moment the issue of quality, a band with two thirds of the revered Electric Wizard should raise a lot of eyebrows just on cred alone. But still Ramesses trudge along, letting loose a steady pulse of albums, EPs and splits on a variety of smaller labels, yet the wider world doesn’t seem to be paying a great deal of attention. Just maybe Take the Curse will be the final piece in the band’s Five Year Plan to break them to a bigger audience, and perhaps even land them on a bigger label that would get their albums on more store shelves.
Ramesses deal out an odd brand of punishing, sludge-laden doom. It’s thick, bitter and barbaric, but the backward-looking doom elements also lend a retro, resin-coated spaciness, not so different from recent Electric Wizard stuff. During parts of Take the Curse it sounds like competing bands have locked horns for creative control. Opener “Iron Crow” is at times bruising and petulant, while at other times sounds…well, like a song named “Iron Crow,” as sick swampy Southern groove takes hold. Adam Richardson’s caustic, tar pit vocals usually have an over the top of the mix and right over your shoulder kind of menace. It is a bit of a divisive style I suppose, but I’m in the ‘thumbs up’ camp. There are now some clean vocals here as well, and these come off really well, and break up the monotony a bit. Speaking of curveballs, the brief black metal burst early in “Black Hash Mass” and the frenetic, deathly blitz of “Hand of Glory” may sneak up on you. Still, these shifts aren’t really so out of character for Ramesses, who avoid that turgid, lumbering brand of harsh doom. They always come across as monstrous, but buoyantly light on their feet and likely to switch gears at any moment. Take the Curse isn’t necessarily a world beater, but does more than enough to further the argument that Ramesses are a band worth your attention. Viscous, primal, punishing doom metal.
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