Rampart is a bulgarian band founded it 2002. After their debut single „Warrior“ this is the second release of this female fronted band. And…well this is their first full length album called „Voice in the wilderness“. Let’s see what happens in the music scene of Bulgaria !!
Silent acoustic start in the album with the song „Under control“. But soon the guitars set it with a speeding lead. Vocals….is there really a girl singing? Anyway, this is sounding like a mixture of a folky speed song and Gamma Ray. And so also the first solo of this debut does. Nice refrain, good to remember. Ok…If I heard that Rampart has female vocals my first thought was, that this sure will be a Gothic band or similar. But none, this is pure Heavy Rock. Second song „Warriors“ starts in the same way like the opening track. Acoustic start, speeding up soon and double voice in the refrain. I don’t know if that is the same track like their debut single, but the song remembers me to the old german metal band called Stormwitch and their releases The Beauty and the beast or Walpurgis Night. The title track up next. Short batllefield intro in „Voice of the wilderness“. 80′s influenced riff to follow. This song is more held in midtempo, but getting faster in the refrain. Yes, this band breathes a lot of the 80′s air. This title is the song with the most breaks so far and owns a terrific guitar solo. This could be a soundtrack for the middle age without pipes and all that stuff. Is this epic music? I am not sure, for that the music is going too straight. Speed guitar duel in the beginning of „The Flood“. In this song I can hear for the first time that there is a lady singing. Cause the vocals are performed higher than before. Maria does a good job. Speed and riffing parts change. Twin guitar solo completes a melodic guitar intermezzo. „Desert of time“ brings back the acoustic intro. Wonderful guitar harmony starts and leads to a heavy riff that is followed by speed lines in instruments and vocals. I can find out a little oriental touch in that song, but the refrain is a hommage to old Iron Maiden. The solo guitar is definetely influenced by Kai Hansen. The song stops unspectacular with an acoustic guitar again. „Orchrist“ starts with some Iron Maiden vibes too. Midtempo rules the scene, the refrain sounds a little bit balkan orientated and the guitar solo brings some classical impressions into the song. Don’t know what an Orchrist is, but the band will, cause I hear that word a hundred times in that song. For me one of the lesser good songs of the album. „Age of Steel“ starts slow and balladesque. This is a very special song. With violines, violas and other kinds of classical instruments…played by a guest musician called Sofia Vancheva. Where is the girl that I can invite to dance now? Wonderful song. Hear the heartbreaking guitar part at the end of this song and you know what I mean. Not a typical ballad, this has its very own special taste.
A song to dream, dance or only lean back. Not cheesy, only full of harmonies. Coming up is „Mirror of dreams“. Good hookline at the start. More Hardrock/AOR orientated. Straight, melodic with again higher vocals of Maria. Double layed vocals and twin guitars underline this new element in the musical spectrum of Rampart. Easy listening, I would say. The last song of the album is „Stay aside“..and it starts like the opener, silent and acoustic. Anymore this is a more speedful song.And I can say that again Gamma Ray and Stormwitch stay aside in that track. But they are not the worst idols you can have, so I am happy to hear that vibes of the 80′s heroes from a new band again.
Bulgaria…you made it for me. Rampart lives in different worlds. In the glorious 80′s (mainly the german metal bands), also in a world of original ideas and they don’t forget to tell the people where they come from and bring the folk elements of their home into the music.
I think there was not a big budget for recording that album. For that the sound is ok, but I hope they can improve that for their next album. Anyway….good debut!!
Points: 6 / 10
Review by Kerb