Review Summary: Blacker than the blackest black times infinity.
Since its inception in 2011, Ramlord have been busy at work producing blackened crust jams and have garnered their fair share of hype and recognition in the scene. After the debut tape Stench of Fallacy
, a twenty-seven minute burn of muddy riffs and strangely found harmony, came two splits with Condensed Flesh and fellow experimental black/crust outfit Cara Neir. And all within the short time span of less than two years, the band is here once again with a sophomore album and worthy placeholder in their already flourishing discography. Young, but well versed, Ramlord hit home with 2013’s Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom
: a bleak collection of contemptuous crust tracks that leave a cautiously caustic caption of corrosive carnage behind.
Breaking straight into the album, opener ‘Nihil ***ing Lifeblood’ is an exercise in letting the listener know exactly what Ramlord is all about. From the opening riff, juxtaposing eerily clean chord progressions with more dissonant and casually brash ones, the music teeters along slowly and methodically as it builds to an opening roar, gains momentum and bursts into a frenzy of chaotic tremolo picked riffs and d-beat stylings. As the song changes tempo all throughout its run-time, pacing from fast and violent to sludgy and slow, it encompasses the overall sound of the album and doesn’t hold back.
In comparison with Ramlord’s debut album, Stench of Fallacy
, the production on Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom
is a drastic change, with a much fuller, more balanced sounding mix that doesn’t sacrifice the classic foggy production of the music, still bearing a significant cacophonous sound. The vocals range from shrieks to low bellows and the guitars frantically alter from melodious to as chaotic and atonal as possible throughout songs, the crusty bitterness of the triple-threat ‘Eroded’, ‘Enslaved’ and ‘Embittered’ display the bands prowess for creating punchy thirty-second hardcore tunes, epitomising the album’s nihilistic grimness in a quick minute and a half.
With a keen knack for killer riffs, Ramlord have created some devastating blackened ballads sure to please any punk fan. All the way up to the eight-minute closer (and follow-up to the ‘Affliction of Clairvoyance (Part One)’ track from their split with Cara Neir), ‘Extinction of Clairvoyance (Part Two)’, Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom
presents a wholly engaging listen and doesn’t overstay its welcome, bringing a solid thirty-seven minutes of tasty tunes and dark jams.