RAMESSES – Take the Curse CD
This is my first time listening to one of their releases even though they’ve been around for seven years and have a slew of EPs and split releases out as well as one full length from 2007. Last year I saw that UNEARTHLY TRANCE, another great Doom band I like, had a split release with RAMESSES but I never picked it up, I will now. Prior to playing this one I checked out the band’s history and found out it had ex ELECTRIC WIZARD members Tim Bagshaw on guitar and drummer Mark Greening. On bass and vocals is Adam Richardson who had spent time with Justin Oborn in one of his pre-ELECTRIC WIZARD bands, LORD OF PUTREFACTION. I’ve got that pre-ELECTRIC WIZARD CD so I knew about them plus I’ve always been a fan of ELECTRIC WIZARD. After all of that knowledge I naturally figured this was gonna be Let Us Prey meets Monothiest at the Great American Smoke Out, except it would be in England. My second guess was that it would be almost an hour’s worth of I hate Jus Oborn, since we know there’s no love loss between him and his ex-band members.
Thankfully my first guess was on target, this is CELTIC WIZARD or if you prefer ELECTRIC FROST. There is absolutely nothing new as far as originality when it comes to their interpretation of the Doom/Sludge template. But to their credit RAMESSES are extremely good at it and that’s what I’d rather hear than some avant garde innovative fart fest. Tim Bagshaw might have been playing bass in ELECTRIC WIZARD for a decade but he was also tutoring himself by reading Tom G. Warrior’s book of bone crushing riffs for guitarists. After blasting opener “Iron Crow” a few more times as well as cuts like “Baptism of the Walking Dead” and “Black Hash Mass”, I think the term “bone crushing” is taking this man’s guitar prowess lightly. What Bagshaw does with the riffs makes the sinking of the Titanic seem like a drop in the bucket. Although the guy is more versatile than that since he also shows his psych doom side, especially on the title cut. I’m not talking about butterflies and paisley shirts either. What we get here are bats, big giant fuckin bats with six inch fangs.
Adam Richardson adds alot more than thundering bass lines or other times its intricate plucking that conveys an atmosphere of foreboding terror. His vocals are of mixed ranges and he illustrates them well whether it’s an almost caustic scream or death like guttural pain. It pairs perfect with Bagshaw’s riffs and the assorted horror movie samples looped into many of their cuts. As far as the drum work goes Mark Greening plays like he’s been cut loose from restraints. Power Trio comes to mind now after listening to this continually for the past few days. If you thought TRIPTYKON was the greatest thing in 2010 since sliced bread then here’s a new loaf. It’s not fresh but its damm good.