Ramming Speed - Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die (Cover Artwork)

Ramming Speed

Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die (2013)

Prosthetic Records

Doomed to (most likely) smell bad, destined to kick ass, Ramming Speed return here with their second LP. It's a thrilling collection of metal and hardcore (mostly metal) that gathers a bunch of sub-variants of these genres under one roof before exploding the house to which said roof belongs. This record rocks so hard though, you won't even care that your home just blew up. It's a relentless display of heavy metal precision and technical skill – each member's contribution shines loud and clear thanks to a typically bang-up production job by Kurt Ballou – but it's also a model of punk rock attitude in the reckless abandon with which every song barrels through itself, twisting and turning and, most definitely, destroying.

There's thrashing, grinding, and new waving of the heavy British sort in these thirteen songs: D-beats, blast beats, crusty hardcore, galloping power metal, and so on. Even a somber acoustic guitar introduces "Hollow Giants." Don't worry, that only lasts a few seconds, just like any other moment on this record you might expect to be able to hang your hat on. By the time you realize it's breakdown time and you should be banging your head half as fast as you just were during "Gorgon's Eye," for example, the song's over without warning and the first ten seconds of the next track have completely obliterated any memory of what just happened.

That's not to say Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die lacks cohesion. It might be more accurate to say that this furious clip puts everything in danger of blurring together just a bit too much. Like, they'll play half of one line of a thrash verse as if it were a grindcore song instead ("Ashes"); if you burp too loud you'll miss that completely. The lyrics of each song tend to address a narrow range of topics throughout the album as well ("Here are some of the ways in which humanity is fucked," to paraphrase), not that they aren't well composed and interesting and, at times, uplifting.

Perhaps that's just the risk one runs when traveling at Ramming Speed, but it makes for an interesting duality. On one hand this is great background music to smashing beer cans on your friends' heads as it relentlessly pummels for over 30 minutes, vocals wailing and solos flailing. On the other hand, you can sit down by yourself with this thing and be repeatedly floored. It's invigorating either way.