Besides stellar cover art, what do we have here? If you guessed an equally stellar album then you would not be far from the mark. RAMMER hail from Toronto and vomit a corrosive solution of equal parts Thrash and Death Metal that is capable of eating through a 6 inch steel plate. I missed out on their first full-length which was released in ’02, but “Cancer” did not evade my grasp and hopefully it will not evade yours.
When KREATOR, DESTRUCTION and SLAYER are cited as major influences, you know you’re onto something which is going to kick your ass outright wasting minimal time. Proving the press sheet true, RAMMER possess this furious and heavy Thrash sound which is not a far cry from TORTURE SQUAD. You have this heavy, yet piercing guitar tone being wielded like a massive axe thrown in broad strokes, slicing you with wicked Thrash breaks and chunky Death Metal riffs and bridges. This has been done before, but RAMMER come into their own sound and form and have you bent over quicker than you could insult Chris Barnes.
Vocalist David Kristiansen compliments the focused riffing with a slightly clear snarl which flirts with a deeper range occasionally. He doesn’t hold much in reserve and lays all his cards out on the table as you’re viciously molested by brutal axe-work and unrelenting battery. As if all of these elements weren’t enough, wait till you catch hold of the solos. Joel Fisher and Sean Ramsay are completely unforgiving and never let up as quality and quantity are brought in force till your spine is bruised and your neck is severed. The absolute pinnacle of the album’s utilization of guitars is found in that closing solo of “From Russia…”. That is HEAVY fucking Metal and that is why I love this genre so damn much.
So we have ass-kicking riffage, fiery vocals and unexpectedly talented drumming utilizing dynamics; how could we possibly falter? Well that first part, the ass-kicking riffage, is not completely consistent. Upon my first spin, “Cancer” was firing on all cylinders until I hit the band-anthem of sorts, “Rammer”. This is the first taste of that awful Metalcore/Hardcore break-down type riff which attempts to get you pumping your first and stomping about, but realistically puts you to fucking sleep with a bad taste in your mouth. Luckily, these moments are few and far between but they do occasionally pop up during the length of the disc like pieces of glass embedded in apple pie.
RAMMER aim to maim and decapitate and succeed for the greater majority. We have a nice old-school Thrash album choked full of tasty riffing and solos which melt in your goddamn mouth. Up the intensity to 11 with an excellent drummer and vicious vocalist and we have a nice little album which approaches spectacular. If you can stomach sinking your tender gums into an occasional rough piece of broken glass, then you will certainly be satisfied. We could all use a nice lunge into the decaying heart of neo-Thrash and this retro slab is cutting a gash large enough to please even the meekest of classic Thrashers. (Online July 4, 2006)