It's been some four years since my last encounter with Rampart, a female fronted traditional heavy metal band from Bulgaria. They're on to their fourth full album with Codex Metalum, despite ongoing fluctuations in band personnel. The one constant has always been vocalist Maria "Diese" Doychinova.
To say that Rampart plays traditional heavy metal is not an understatement. They've been flying the flag of "keep it true" metal from the band's inception ten years ago. Their sound is straight out the early Eighties, on the heels of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, as interpreted by German bands. Following the tried and true genre, Rampart leads with twin guitar harmony and leads, then boosts it with a spry and solid rhythm section. The rhythm section has to be lively as most all songs have a quick pace. In this sense, Rampart delivers speed metal, or better it's cousin power metal as well. A great example is the song Into The Rocks, basically haste and speed from the start, with a nice bass solo breakdown in the second half.
The possible exception to the speed is Colours Of The Night, something lightly quick, yet disguised in a mid-tempo pace with a terrific rock groove. Additionally, Rampart tries to drop in some mellow moments as well, mostly as lighter guitar intros and outros as with Diamond Ark and Of Nightfall. Yet, the latter song, in the first half has a generous amount of voice over lighter guitar. As for Ms Doychinova's vocal style, she remains a melodic clean singer, steering away screamo or dirty vocals. Finally, returning to the guitar work, there are copious amounts of blazing and soaring leads, another key element in classic heavy metal. All in all, Codex Metalum is a solid album from Rampart, a band becoming more proven and mature in their songwriting, musicianship, and presentation. Up the irons. Easily recommended to true metalheads everywhere.
Codex Metalum is a solid album from Rampart, a band becoming more proven and mature in their songwriting, musicianship, and presentation. Up the irons. Easily recommended to true metalheads everywhere.
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