Ramesses - Take The Curse
Ritual Productions
Doom
10 songs (53:43)
Release year: 2010
Ritual Productions
Reviewed by Goat

Formed by two founding members of Electric Wizard in 2003 when guitarist Tim Bagshaw and drummer Mark Greening parted ways with Jus Oborn, the Department of Doom and Ministry of Misery that is Ramesses get less attention than they deserve. It’s hard to see why from a casual listen to second full-length Take The Curse, a forthright combination of gnarly snarls, obscure horror film samples and Stonerised riffage that will have any worshipper of the genre on their knees in unquestioning - well, worship! From the downtuned roar of opener Iron Crow the band lay out their territory and defend it with ease, trippy riffage mixing with the truly heavy atmosphere, which ranges from drug-induced paranoia to sheer head-banging euphoria. There’s even something of the Neurosis crowd to it, which makes for a pretty gripping listen, and by the time that you’ve crawled through all ten tracks here you’ll be half strangled to death, yet begging for more.

Make no mistake, this isn’t the nice, hippy Doom that you might have expected. Despite slower, weirder, more Cathedral-esque moments like the beginning of Terrasaw and the title track, the overall intent of the band is to reproduce the dark Black Sabbath-influenced atmosphere of dread and push it into overdrive. It helps that vocalist Adam Richardson has the kind of throat capable of both bleak growls and Kyussian despairing wails, and it speaks volumes for the band’s abilities that neither option offers a way out of the beleaguering, slave-like shuffle that Ramesses push the listener into. To be sure, fans of Kyuss and Cathedral will see some common ground, but it’s like a before and after in Hiroshima, circa 6th August 1945. Where once was cheer, now is misery. Hints of melody here and there are ultimately just memories of what has been lost, and serve to make the overall crushing terror even starker and more horrible.

Take The Curse, despite this general misery, is a varied and interesting album. Vinho Des Mortos is almost like an interlude, sampled vocals over a hypnotic and repetitive riff that is just as gripping as any other, and sets up the following Baptism Of The Walking Dead’s groaning Neanderthal stomp enjoyably. The atmospheric lightness of Another Skeleton betrays the sheer intelligence behind the songs here, and when Hand Of Glory lurches into near-Blackened speed before collapsing back in on itself, the effect is that of a corpse coming to life and making a sudden grab for your throat. Meanwhile, finale Khali Mist indulges itself in laid-back soloing and sounds something like a Doom band from the early seventies if they had been forced to live through a zombie apocalypse.

This is the first release on Ritual Productions, and it’s one hell of a way to start. If you enjoy your Doom with a hefty dose of genuine misery, with a misanthropic grumpiness and extremity that matches (if not surpasses!) that of some Funeral Doom bands, then Ramesses make a racket that’s more than worth your while. Take The Curse, I dare you.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Iron Crow, Take The Curse, Baptism Of The Walking Dead, Hand Of Glory, Khali Mist
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Ramesses that we have reviewed:
Ramesses - Misanthropic Alchemy (re-release) reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Ramesses - Possessed By The Rise Of Magik reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
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