RAM, Forced Entry  (2005, Black Path Metal)

The skull:
Another band that likes the concept of fusing animal horns onto a human skull, and it’s
usually ram horns that are favored (second favorite: bison horns), so this band is well-
named. The black and red makes an effective impact, complete with glowing red lights
emanating from the eye sockets. Pretty much looks how it sounds.

The music:
Swedish vocalists usually don’t come with much of an accent, not the way Italian or Greek
vocalists do, but this guy has a strange delivery, partly due to a weird accent that twists
every word into near-nonsense. He also ocassionally sounds influenced by the mid-range tones of Agent Steel’s John Cyriis and Sanctuary-era Warrel Dane (“Machine Invaders”), so the dude is clearly on the oddball side. His voice¬† gives Ram a unique edge, for better or worse. The rest of Ram play pretty cool traditional metal that finely walks the line between elder worship and the hungry spontaneity only rookies possess. You get songs with multiple parts, tempos and sections, and a whole lot of energy; stuff like “Machine Invaders,” “Infuriator,” and “Venom in My Veins” captures the interest well enough. Their lead guitar work is suitably blistering, some great tones and melodic choices that help the Ram cause quite a bit. There’s no one obvious root sound that is Ram’s favorite…I hear flavors of Japanese, Danish, German, British, Italian and U.S. heavy metal here, all on the raw, dark and heavy-handed side. A few moments get stuck in a plod, like the band isn’t quite sure where to go (the title track), but for the most part it’s a fun if totally easy listen. This definitely could have been released in 1985.
— Friar Wagner

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