Ramming Speed has been grinding it out_ literally_ since 2007, packaging together lacerating drum beats and vocals with flashy guitar parts into compact punk-sized songs. Heavyweight metal label Prosthetic Records caught on to the Boston quintet, and this week released "Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die," the band's second full-length.
Though unorthodox, Ramming Speed sounds nothing but confident on "Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die," offering up a relentless assault through 13 tracks covered in about 35 minutes.
The album's title track gets things going and serves as a pretty good harbinger of things to come. A brooding guitar intro quickly snaps into a maniacal gallop atop which singer Peter Gallagher howls and rasps. It's best not to focus too intently on what Gallagher is saying at the expense of missing everything else going on around him; let it suffice to catch a phrase here, a word there while marveling at the knotted vocal melody.
You could actually say the same for any one component of "Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die" as the record presents best as a whole. The overall tone_ from the aggressiveness of each track down to the song titles ("Anticipating Failure," "Anthems of Despair," "Cretins and Cowards")_ is not open to interpretation; welcome to mean, brutal, and ugly.
But Ramming Speed does build nuance into the record. Guitarists Kallen Bliss and Blake Chuffskin generate a blizzard of thrash riffs and wiry solos. Because the songs thrive on chaos, it's typical to hear a mournful solo lapse into a spastic one, as happens for a nice contrast on "Minister of Truth." You even get a bit of acoustic guitar on "Hollow Giants," but it's more spooky and rickety than pretty.
The band's wrecking ball ferocity is strongest on "Grinding Dissent," easily the feel-doomed hit of the summer so far. Check it out, followed by the likewise grim "Dead Flags":
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