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Ramp - "Intersection" (Farol, CD, 1997)
After a very well received debut album, "thoughts", Portugal's best heavy metal band has returned with the follow up, "intersection".
First thing you notice is the incredible power of the band: the songs have such strength that you will immediately start headbanging to them. The rhythms made by the drums are awesome, with some very complex work; the stringed instruments are played in a simple way, although very technical parts appear throughout the album; the vocals are awesome, very original, mostly clean although some screamed parts appear. But what makes Ramp the great band that they are is the band itself, as a whole - the arrangements are so great, every instrument combines perfectly with the rest.
It's kind of difficult to explain Ramp's style - if the band has a main influence, then it must be fear factory, at least in the vocal parts - Rui Duarte's style resembles Fear Factory's lead singer; but instrumentally Ramp are more metal.
Only by listening to fantastic songs like "black tie" or "through" you will be able to see the power that echoes through Ramp's music, and if you can try to see a gig played by them - you WILL see what the Portuguese dudes call mosh pit!!

1 - All men taste hell
2 - Own Way
3 - Black Tie
4 - So You Say
5 - Fate
6 - Like You
7 - Unpointless Name
8 - Win
9 - Trip
10 - Friendly Word
11 - Through

P.S. - When this review was made the new CD, "E.D.R.", was already released - try to catch it, it beats this one.



Ramp - "Evolution, Devolution, Revolution" (Farol, CD, 1998)
Many expectations were in the air: could Ramp deliver the goods once again, and if they could, would the fans finally assist to the more-than-deserved "internationalization" of the band? Yes, and no.
This album is just great. Everything is just SO much better than in "intersection" - the band has more brutal parts, and at the same time much more melodic moments, creating instant classics such as "hallelujah", "come" or the beautiful ballad "for a while"; the drums are way better now, with Paulinho showing what it means to play the skins; the bass is awesome (listen to the first song, "dawn", for example), very audible, making fantastic rhythm parts with the drums; the guitars continue in the same wave, but much better now; and the vocals are the most inspired ones, intercalating very furious and revolted moments with some calmer words, always sang in a somewhat imponent way ("hallelujah" is the song in which Rui Duarte plays this game the most); as always, these elements have been mixed together in a way that only Ramp can, and the superb production work of Simon Efemey even made things better.
The band has now incorporated some samples throughout the album, just some intros and stuff, which create an even better atmosphere. 
I cannot fully classificate Ramp's sound: it is heavy metal, but featuring some varied influences, mainly from fear factory (and this time more than ever). Only by hearing you will get to know.
I don't have any doubt: if Ramp were from a big country, or if they were an established band within a big label, this album would sell shiploads (and it deserves to, for this is great material, and NO WAY a sell out album); but (I am writing this review long after the album was released) it still didn't happen, yet; however, Ramp are too good to remain in obscurity forever, and one day (maybe) they will get the fame they deserve. ALL HAIL RAMP!

1- Dawn
2 - Helping Hands
3 - Hallelujah
4 - Noone
5 - Future
6 - How
7 - Old Times
8 - DTA
9 - Apathy
10 - For A While
11 - Come