Rampage - _Monolith to an Abandoned Past_
(Unsung Heroes, 2001)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
Following on the heels of 2000's Viking metal epic _Bellum Infinitum_ and a couple of black metal tracks on the _New World Blasphemy_ split with Song of Melkor and Cross Sodomy, prolific one-man act Rampage has now put those musical styles behind them with _MtaAP_, a doom-based record. It would be a mistake to call this a doom record, as Rampage has not managed to put these styles completely behind him, and their influence, along with other musical styles, can be felt throughout the album. For instance, while the opening track is reminiscent of _Forest of Equilibrium_-era Cathedral with slow, heavy, grieving guitars, the beginning of the following track reminds one of the likes of My Dying Bride with its slow arpeggiated guitar overlaying a more distorted guitar wailing mournfully in the background. Here Rampage's experience in metal's various genres is evident, as the second part of this song sounds more like Dio than My Dying Bride. (It really isn't as bad as it sounds!) Two out of eight songs are covers, one of which is a passable cover of Black Sabbath's "Wheels of Confusion", its groove a far cry from the doomy riffs that litter most of this album. The last track, which is simply indicated with an ellipsis, is upon listening revealed as a cover of Mayhem's classic "Funeral Fog". By far and away the heaviest, fastest song on this album, it betrays Rampage's origins as a death/thrash band. Despite all the various elements in the album, it is remarkably coherent, largely because they represent a natural development of a man inclined towards experimentation rather then a kitchen sink approach to songwriting.

Contact: http://unsungheroesrecords.cjb.net

(article published 12/4/2002)


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