RAM-ZET - Neutralized

Ram-Zet - Neutralized

8 songs
60:00 minutes
***** *****
Ascendance

Bandpage

The band name sounds as bizarre as the music but it turns out that it’s a different kind of spelling the name of guitarist and vocalist Flemming Rammseth who constitutes with vocalist Miriam Renvag the creative heads of the sextet otherwise completed by two ladies and two gentlemen in charge of bass, drums, keyboards and violin. Neutralized is Ram-Zet’s fourth album, and compared to its predecessor Intra (2005), it’s obvious that the band is consequently following their stylistic direction.

As an avant-garde metal band, they have found an ideal home at Ascendance Records who have also signed the exceptional Diablo Swing Orchestra. Ram-Zet therefore logically don’t care about musical conventions. Hardly into the opener Infamia, you might think to be in the presence of a rabid black metal band, but soon enough this track turns into a considerably more hypnotic alley, with the wonderful female voice reminding strongly of Anneke van Giersbergen. The following songs are also full of cosmic sounds and strange electronic wizardry that make for the record’s special charm: you never know what will happen next. Solid thrash metal, free jazz experiments and meditative moments flow into one another as if this were the most common thing on the planet. The music is not easy to digest, but that’s also what makes it so suspenseful, creating inside me the urge to always listen to it again. Three songs are more than ten minutes long, but even here everything comes with such compactly structured arrangements that there is no time for boredom.

Ram-Zet have developed their own unique sound. Of course also other bands like Mr. Bungle, Fantômas and Meshuggah love to play with strange sounds, but it would be absurd to draw comparisons. Neutralized is definitely one of the most exciting albums of the year.

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