Ram-Zet - Freaks In Wonderland
24 January 2012

01. Story Without A Happy End
02. I Am
03. Mojo
04. Land Of Fury
05. Madre
06. Circle
07. The Sign
08. As The Carpet Silent Falls

Not beginners, are they? As a first contact with Ram-Zet, this new album is pretty good, I have to say. Checking on their back catalogue, this Freaks In Wonderland might also be one of their craziest - and somehow the most 'light-hearted', too. If that kind of definition can be applied to a crazy band like that, defined as "schizo metal" by its founder and main driving force (that's guitarist/vocalist Zet).

Their music is pretty weird, to say the least. But that was to be expected from a band that definitively belongs to the avant-garde, wasn't it? So, for some little comparisons, let's say it can be mind-bogglingly genre-hopping, but not as much as Unexpect (still, the song "Madre" definitely has some hysterical Quebec-flavoured moments); the 'theatrics' in the mood and songwriting can remind one of Le Grand Guignol or Vulture Industries; and, it prominently features female vocals, quite operatic at times, but it's really wilder than Diablo Swing Orchestra - thanks to the unconventional song structures. These vocals can help a lot to get the listener into the songs, just in time for him to be thrown off-balance by a crazy break, a nasty riff, or anything else really. The keyboards add a lot to the mood of the songs, quite often pushing the guitars out of the spotlights - but beware, they're not far away and will come back to the front of the stage.

Of course, with music like that, jumping (seamlessly) from extreme metal to pop choruses to Meshuggah-esque riffs to weird theatrics (and so on), there's no real catchy and easily memorable song. Still, it might sound too tame at times - and too crazy at others. Not that you could expect an album like this one to be 'balanced', but this part just sounds like the band isn't totally secure in their choice of path. Sometimes they sound like they've gone too far (like with the semi-incoherent jumble that "Story Without A Happy End" can sometimes be), or on the contrary not far enough (some too-poppy-for-their-own-good choruses).

Chances are that if your metal should be 'classical' to please you, then Ram-Zet definitely won't be your cup of tea - but you should at least give them a try if you're into female vocals. And if you like crazy extreme metal music, you'd better listen to this Freaks In Wonderland; the avant-gardist recipe served here is not an unknown one, but it for sure has its own flavourů

Band profile: Ram-Zet
Album: Freaks In Wonderland


Written on 16.11.2012 by
Darkside Momo
Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.
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ManiacBlasphemer - 17.11.2012 at 19:54  
Ram-Zet is always a great ride. One of those bands you either love or hate. This ain't my favorite album, but it was worth listening, pretty crazy audible experience, in other words, a very memorable album. I recommend it!

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