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Intra

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Album Review

Ram-Zet was formed in 1998 — and seven years later, in 2005, listeners were still struggling to categorize the Norwegian combo's ambitious, risk-taking music. Is Intra symphonic black metal, goth metal, alt metal or progressive metal? Truth be told, this 2005 release is all of those things. Leader/founder/lead singer Zet's raspy screech and the band's effective use of blastbeats give Intra a certain amount of black metal appeal, but female lead vocalist Sfinx favors an ethereal, darkly romantic approach that is extremely goth — and the influence of industrial rock and progressive metal asserts itself as well. Put all of these things together, and you have an intense yet generally melodic band that isn't afraid to bring something fresh and original to the Scandinavian metal scene. Of course, ambition and good intentions don't always pay off — some experimental bands have the best of intentions but end up providing erratic, wildly inconsistent albums. Those are the types of bands that will get an A for their intentions but a C or D for the final product (in contrast to the artists who aren't very original but still get an A or B for albums that are solid, focused, and inspired, if derivative). Thankfully, Ram-Zet's good intentions pay off in a major way on Intra. This 53-minute CD never sounds confused or unfocused; Zet sees to it that all of the different elements fit together nicely and form a cohesive, lucid whole. That said, the listeners who will get the most out of Intra are those with eclectic tastes. If one is broad-minded enough to listen to Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir one minute and Black Tape for a Blue Girl or Diva Destruction the next — followed by Dream Theater as well as Nine Inch Nails — Intra offers considerable rewards.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Norway

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Too much effort can easily be spent trying to classify Ram-Zet, which is to the group's credit, as they create quite a dynamic and distinct progressive racket. Perhaps because of their Norwegian homeland's history of noisy black metal, the term has been used occasionally to describe Ram-Zet's edgy power/industrial/progressive metal. Without the death-like vocal blasts of bandleader Zet — which are punctuated on Ram-Zet's recordings by frequent dashes of silky smooth, almost...
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Intra, Ram-Zet
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Contemporaries