Ramming Speed- Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My first encounter with Ramming Speed was their debut album Brainwreck in 2008, and at the time I found that the band was decent but their particular brand of crossover thrash didn’t have what it took to stand out from the rest. After putting out a split and EP, the group has returned with another full length Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die nearly five years after their debut and they have taken a significant step forward. The production values have been upped significantly and the songs are more versatile than before, making this worth checking out whether you’ve heard Ramming Speed before or not.

On their debut, Ramming Speed’s instrumentals felt a bit one-dimensional as they had the same kind of structures from one track to the next. It’s immediately apparent that the band has grown as songwriters right from the beginning, as while thrash still plays a significant role in their sound there are prominent heavy metal leads and even some blasting passages that have a bit more of a grind vibe. They’re no longer just blasting away and focused on speed for much of the release, offering plenty of shifting tempos and sudden bursts of blasting and galloping riffs within the course of the same track. Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die was recorded with Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studios, and the increased production values have helped quite a bit. Ramming Speed still maintains the aggressive, intense sound of their earlier work but there’s a lot more clarity than before that makes it easier to pick out individual riffs and distinguish the songs from one another.

Pete Gallagher has always gone for a vocal style that is a bit harsher when compared to the average thrash singer. While thrash has a tendency to be oriented towards a clean pitch that has a gruffer tone, Gallagher’s primary style is a harsher scream that occasionally breaks into a slightly cleaner style. There’s quite a bit of variation, as songs like “Cretins and Cowards” have a constantly changing high/low split that leave the vocals feeling quite versatile. I rather like this particular mix that Ramming Speed has to offer, as there are some of the extremely harsh grind and metal oriented vocals as well as some cleaner ones that give off more of a punk vibe. Everything remains consistently in your face and this is another area that has benefited from the increased production values, as it really brings out the different pitches more than before and helps the vocal work to further stand out.

Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die finds Ramming Speed taking some significant steps forward, as they have kept the intensity and noisiness of their debut while finding ways to switch things up and keep the songs feeling different. The increased prevalence of heavy metal mixed in with the thrash and grind elements works extremely well, and this is one of the main reasons I found myself wanting to return to this album. Five years between full lengths may be a long time, but it appears these guys have used this gap to come back stronger than ever.


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