By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
Battering Ram brings back memories of Swedish hard rock of the early and mid-1980s without sounding retro on its debut album.
Swedish hard rock band Battering Ram was formed in Filipstad, Sweden in 2017 and, following plenty of gigs and a few single releases, the band has now released its self-titled debut album. Battering Ram’s music lives somewhere between the melodic hard rock of today and the more rough and raw hard rock of the early 1980s. The music is not too polished which is a plus for me. The fairly basic and straightforward production is partly why it brings back memories of Swedish hard rock acts of the early and mid-1980s, such as Heavy Load, Torch and 220 Volt. This was a time that can be defined as “pre-The Final Countdown”. It was a time when the Swedish hard rock sound was more related to NWOBHM than AOR. Before that 1986 hit, even Europe had a tougher sound similar to their contemporary Swedish bands. But Battering Ram’s music is not created to be retro. The band somehow manages to sound both early 1980s and 2020. Like many of those Swedish bands did back in the day, Battering Ram walks a fine line between rough hard rock and melodic hard rock. The blend works well. There is a solid foundation in the Swedish hard rock sound of the early 80s, but there are also similarities to contemporary Swedish bands such as Mustasch and Corroded. It takes the best bits from back in the day, without sounding dated, and sprinkles some here-and-now metal on top of it all. “Wanted Man”, “The Sign” and “Coming My Way” are some of my obvious favourite songs on this album, but perhaps the fantastic in-your-face track “Chase the Fire” is the album’s highlight. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Battering Ram has arrived and this band is here to stay.