BATTERING RAM – Battering Ram

BATTERING RAM – Battering Ram

It’s been a while since I have reviewed a hard rock/heavy metal album, much less a good one. Although this Swedish construct is fairly new, Battering Ram show a notable potential with their debut album, somewhere between British and Scandinavian Arena Oriented Rock, on one hand, and New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, on the other, which results in varied songs of inconsistent quality.

Battering Ram was created in 2017 and is today Johan Hallström (vocals), Jonas Edmark (guitar), Jocke Ståhl (bass) and Tony Trust (drums). Taking cues from bands such as Europe, 90s Guns’N Roses, Alice In Chains, Disturbed, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, some middle road Life Of Agony and even some John R. Bush Anthrax, they mix those seamingly disparate influences in a volatile and sometimes addictive concoction with a distinct knack for melody.

Most songs are in the same (catchy verse/chorus, sometimes solo, goodbye) fashion, indeed, very similar, such as "The Sign", "I Will Come Alone" and "Wanted Man", with two, offering a more unique structures and better, more challenging, vocalizations. "Stronger Forever" reveals the aforementioned affinity for Bush Anthrax, with the beginning and some of the rhythm similar to "Invisible" from "Sound Of White Noise" album, while Johan’s vocals recall Imagine Dragons’ Daniel Coulter „Dan” Reynolds and Disturbed’s David Michael Draiman, whereas "Chase The Fire" recalls both Alice In Chains’ "Man In The Box" and "Use Your Illusion" Guns’N Roses, complete with a Saul "Slash" Hudson-like fantastic solo. Two songs (I dub them both perfect) show a more NWOBHM side of Battering Ram: "Scared For My Life" combining classic Iron Maiden with Life Of Agony’s "Weeds" (from "Soul Searching Sun" album) while "Cut In Two", a thrashy Iced Earth-er and a perfect album closer. All performances being great, I must also distinguish Johan as the "star" of the ensemble with excellent and varied vocals.

As is usually the case with debuts, the album contains some clunkers. Well, they’re not exactly fillers, but the opener, "Taking My Time" sounds a little underwhelming back to back the aforementioned closer or even the following "The Sign", while "Coming My Way" boasts fantastic verse but a generic chorus recalling the worst of nu metal, a’la Drowning Pool atrocity, plus it is too similar to the immediately following "Wanted Man" (which has an excellent chorus!) These are all typical mistakes of a up and coming young band so I’m not mad but they do detract from the listening pleasure a bit.

With their debut album Battering Ram does not revolutionalize hard rock or heavy metal but they do put us on notice for better things to come. The album is excellently produced, with a pleasant distinct low end and these guys are clearly talented songwriters, plus the album stands well against the test of repeated exposure, which you should try out for yourself.