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Rampart: Voice Of The Wilderness

Two things immediately make Ramprt stand out from the crowd. Firstly the fact that they are from Bulgaria, which is most definitely not well known for its NWOBHM influenced speed metal and secondly is that rather unusually for this style of music, the band have a female singer in the shape of Maria Doychinova. So with there being a growing crowd of bands revisiting this territory do Rampart have what it takes to really set themselves apart? Well on the evidence of Voice Of The Wilderness, the answer to that has to be not really, or at least not yet. The majority of this album is serviceable, if pretty dated sounding metal, although there's no need to question the ability of those involved in making it. The band themselves are still a three piece outfit with Maria behind the mic, Yavor Kamenov providing the solid riffs and Borislav Glavev pounding out the beats. However the band is then rounded out with session musicians Victor Georgiev on guitar and bassist Alexander Spiridonov.

If early Maiden, or Helloween still features heavily in your listening rotation, then there's plenty here to get your head banging, or to entice you to confidently place your foot on the air monitor, with the likes of "Orchrist", or "Under Control" rattling along at break neck speed. Surprisingly Maria's vocals, while slightly accented, do stand up remarkably well and if I hadn't looked at the CD, I wouldn't actually have cottoned on that this was a woman singing at all. I'm not sure if that negates one of the band's unique selling points, but either way she is a more than capable singer on the overtly metal tracks. The problems arise, both vocally and musically when Rampart slow things down, with the more melodic "Age Of Steel" really not suiting Maria's voice and on the whole the delivery of this song just isn't convincing enough to hold the interest. Far more noteworthy are the Gamma Ray like "The Flood", where the guitar work is of the highest calibre and the Maidenesque "Desert Of Time" and this is the sort of attack Rampart need to concentrate on to succeed.

Voice Of The Wilderness is not an album that's going to blow you away, but neither is it a disaster, however Rampart do still have some way to go before we can expect to see them putting Bulgarian metal on the map.

Track Listing
1. Under Control
2. Warriors
3. Voice Of The Wilderness
4. The Flood
5. Desert Of Time
6. Orchrist
7. Age Of Steel
8. Mirror To Dreams
9. Stay Aside

Added: January 15th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Rampart MySpace
Hits: 2077
Language: english

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