There are some bands that never truly find their sound even after years and years of playing and multiple albums and record deals. They lie in a world of hop scotch sounds and unfocused core beliefs. Then there are bands like RAGESTORM whom already on their third release, “The Passion” sound as though they know exactly who they are and already are refining that sound into exactly what the title would claim…a passion.
This little three song appetizer allows us to hear a band that already has taken a stance on their music and sounds as mature and destructive as Death Metal bands 4 times their age and 3 or 4 labels in, this without a single full length album or a label to back them. I don’t know if there is anything more Metal then that. RAGESTORM rides that line between Death and Thrash Metal, although leaning more onto the Death side just through song structuring, riffing, and vocal work that tends to be more guttural (although the occasional Hetfield inspired singing pops up on every song and especially on the closer “Insomnia”).
This small release, call it an EP or demo or whatever, shows us exactly what we need to hear from RAGESTORM as Metal fans or as label talent seekers. Refined musicianship with intense but catchy song writing that will please the fans of either genre. They spark with intensity yet contain that sense of strong chemistry that makes for a great band. The production could use a nice boost (this band would be fucking killer with someone like Tue Madsen behind the board) and the production tends to pull back some of the intensity of the three songs most of the time. Seriously though, it’s a small issue in the long run and the band uses their strengths appropriately against their faults (which are very few).
Strong musicianship and solid writing make “The Passion” a nice taste of, hopefully, what’s to come in the future of RAGESTORM. Although the sound this band has isn’t in major calling for from the labels at this time, they are definitely someone to keep a solid eye from to be hearing bigger and better things from.
(Online November 25, 2009)