Ram - Rod album review

Sweden’s heavy metal firebrands prove a law unto themselves

Cover art for Ram - Rod album

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If they weren’t so obsessed with classic Judas Priest and studs ’n’ leather, the guys in Ram would probably be playing black metal as they share the same no-compromise ethos. While most true metal bands are merely headed for an artistic dead end, here Ram’s cheese-free approach and sinister leanings have given birth to what Hammerfall might have dreamed of but never achieved. Their attention to detail, such as a guitar tone that’s both natural and crunchy, and the vibrant falsetto of frontman Oscar Carlquist epitomise their perfect mastery of the heavy metal art. If it were any other band, Ram’s brand of overblown attitude, fire-brandishing artwork and concept about a creature called Ram Rod’s (yep) empowering quest would be palatable only for elder diehards with Omen shirts full of holes, but in these Swedes’ case, it’s a call to arms that has to be heard.