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'Earth Shaker'
Out now

Johnny Main

johnny main

ramage inc

Scottish Progressive Metallers, Ramage Inc have been around since 2004 when they first stepped into the limelight with their 'Universe' album. It wasn't until 2008 that its follow up recording was released, the six track 'Screaming melodies' EP which bolstered the group's fan base.

Fast forward to 2013 and the band released the explosive 'Feel the Waves' album which not only promised to be entertaining, melodic and heavy but actually followed through with that promise.

'Feel the Waves' was well received and enabled the band to tour extensively throughout the UK and Europe, picking up new listeners and fans in one fell swoop before they once again returned home to begin work on 'Earth Shaker' , the band's third full length album that was released late in 2015.

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The ten track opus comes in at just over an hour in length and it shows that the band aren't holding anything back in not only their lyrics and production but also with their performance.

'Earth Shaker' was self-produced at the band's Scottish HQ and features the vocal talents of Polish vocalist Karolina Sumowska (who I believe featured on 'The Voice of Poland' TV series back in 2014),and Łukasz Karolak (from Glasgow based experimetal duo, The Larch?) in what is a warm production by award winning producer and Ramage Inc front man Bryan Ramage.

Title track 'Earth Shaker' has a slow build up from guitars and drums as the atmosphere steadily grows. You're pretty much a minute and a quarter into the track before the vocals from front man Bryan Ramage finally come in. As a vocalist, Ramage has a great voice and really holds the longer notes well, while his overall production style is understandably solid and gives real depth to the track.

There's a slightly Spanish sounding guitar towards the end which proves to be a somewhat long affair, but it's not without its moments of clarity before the vocals, guitar riff and drums bring the power back in one last time.

'Within Circles' is a slower tempo number with drummer Paul Hameed excelling here with his double bass drum beat. Once the intro has been negotiated the sound is pared right back gifting Ramage one of his best vocal performances. It's a good, clear vocal performance that manages to be heartfelt while still showcasing his powerful voice.

ramage inc

Likewise, 'Enter The Whirlwind' has a great guitar intro as Hameed pounds out the beat in a song that may be another slower tempo one but it's certainly not short on power.

Indeed, as far as Hameed is concerned, it's him who steals the limelight during the faster paced track 'Guardian' as he sets out a complex but tight beat. The stop-start guitar riff adds to the overall sound while Ramage gives a more laid back performance showing just what a quality vocalist he is.

'Transparency' has a subtle intro gives way to a hard edged, though fairly slow paced, romp with Hameed picking up the beat while guitarist lays down the heavy riff. It sounds like there are some keyboards at the back of the mix, but this could just be Ramage using his ingenuity as a Producer to create extra sounds.

What's definitely there are the vocals from Sumowska, which add an extra dimension to the song. It's a nice change but her vocal talents aren't overly used which means the band could play this live without the need for an extra band member on stage.

The final two numbers are among my favourites, though. First up is the suitably titled 'Dark' where “doom and gloom” are the watchwords here – but not in an overly morbid way. It's Hameed that comes across well here as he punches out the beat as the lyrical guitars join in. As the tempo picks up, Ramage gives another strong performance as he really stretches his voice once again.

The final number is 'Loss' with its almost choral sounding intro courtesy of an acoustic guitar, which reminds me of 'Solitude' by Black Sabbath and like that one, this song is sure to become a classic. As the main guitar riff bursts out the tone changes to a much heavier one but the choral motif is still retained, before the sing is pared right back to just voice and guitar.

This song truly deserves better than to be at the end of the album but then again, you know the old saying: keep the best till last, so make sure you don't miss this gem of a track.

'Earth Shaker' Track Listing:
Earth Shaker
Enter He Whirlwind
Within Circles
Learn More
Break Out
Handle This

Ramage Inc are:
Bryan Ramage – Vocals/Guitar
Allan Forsyth – Guitar
Marcin Buczek – Bass Guitar
Paul Hameed – Drums

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