RAMBased on their recent split release with fellow countrymen Portrait, I find such an influence has rubbed off and with these Swedes fourth album, this sees RAM employ a touch darker essence comfortably displayed in the music, whilst retaining their core pure heavy metal credentials in line with their earliest material.

Cvlt as the album title spelling suggests, cvlt and eerie indeed is the order of play with the starting track ‘Return of the Iron Tyrant’. This harbours a power and darkness that goes hand in hand. In some respects you get Mercyful Fate (a band previously covered on the 7 inch single ‘Under the Scythe’), Accept etc, you know the drill. But with this release compared to their previous offering ‘Death’, this sounds much fresher and overall the album has much more purpose and direction. ‘Eyes of the Night’ is one of those songs you wish you wrote yourself, its full on metal, fast, furious and very infectious, like Riot meets early WASP, pretty cool.

Delving further into this gem, keep a keen ear out for a wicked instrumental, but way of a 70’s sci fi flick type sound with ‘Terminus’ which flows into ‘The Omega Device (MI III)’ which is a fist pounding slab of classic German metal, fully refreshed for the modern age and this also displays a more colourful use of Oscar Carlquist’s vocal range. ‘Temples of Void’ is a more lavish in delivery, the arrangement is quite epic mixing a few different ideas around and combining into a stellar arrangement that fits with the straight out metal bruisers on the album.

All in all, and I have read this elsewhere, but this is indeed the album that the band may have been striving for. Their last album proved a touch experimental, this one takes that experience and turns it up to metal eleven with some clever sinister styling included for a truly magical metal music experience. Truly their best album to date, buy it, enjoy it, it’s a damn fine release.

(9/10 Paul Maddison)