RAMPART – Codex Metalum
Bulgarian heavy metal band Rampart have been active for well over a decade, as "Codex Metalum" is their fourth studio record. A Teutonic feel is prevalent in these 8 songs, as a lot of the rhythms and tempos have Grave Digger/ Running Wild-like substance, championing sing-a-long choruses, militant gallops, and guitar harmonies that make festival audiences swoon. The problem is, as great as many of the main riffs for songs are in "The Metal Code" or the Maiden-esque epic closer "Majesty", vocalist Maria Diese has a very weak delivery, she has very little power in the upper reaches and sounds off key more often than not, making the total enjoyment of Rampart’s craft difficult after each pass.
For true metal to stick with me, I need a vocalist with conviction beyond strong melodies, riffs, and sincere songwriting. Rampart needs to work on the first aspect or be relegated to a very small following.