COULD BE BETTER!!
Could this be a triumphant return of 80's style thrash power metal? Maybe, maybe not. But we shall listen on and find out.
'Apocalypse or Theater' begins the album with Yngwie J. Malmstein - Rising Force style riffs and a Motley Crue - God Bless The Children rip off interlude. 'Diamond Ark' sounds incredibly like early Iron Maiden..... are you catching my drift here? So far 'Codex Metalum' sounds pretty cobbled together with badly timed and flat sounding struggling vocals. 'The Metal Code' keeps Rampart's heads above water somewhat with a better quality of musicianship. The same goes for 'Of Nightfall' which I suspect is the ballad. 'Scarlet Anger' seems to be raising the bar a bit in terms of originality. 'Into The Rocks' sees Rampart falling back on a derivitive of Judas Priest meets Gamma Ray. The grooves of 'Colours Of The Twilight' present us with a pleasant change , while 'Crown Land' sees me longing for the dulcet tones of Michael Kiske, as Rampart take on the task of emulating Helloween in their 'Keeeper Of The Seven Keys' days. The closing track 'Majesty' quite frankly has nothing majestic in particular about it.
I get, or at least I hope I get what this band is trying to do. This being the revival of a golden age thrash metal. Had the mix been improved a little more, and a little more attention paid to perfecting vocal takes, 'Codex Metalum' would be bringing a nostalgic smile to my face as I type. Instead, I found myself growing bored, and as the final track drew to a close, I felt a sense of relief.
Musically 'Codex Metalum' was OK, but with the constant weight of a very bad vocal dragging the mix down is the achilles heel. I truly believe that Rampart are capable of so much more, but they simply never took the opportunity with 'Codex Metalum'.