Studio Stuff

EXCLUSIVE IN-STUDIO REPORT: RAMMING SPEED’S DOOMED TO DESTROY, DESTINED TO DIE

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As you’ve no doubt been reminded of time and again in the past weeks, the Metal Sucks/Metal Injection-sponsored Revocation, Ramming Speed, and Cannabis Corpse tour is upon us. With releases from two of the three bands taking prominent places in the top what-have-you lists of yesteryear, it may be appropriate to wonder if the dudes left out of that running are up to par with their soon-to-be tour-mates. I’m here to assure you that not only does Ramming Speed meet the standards expected of them to tour with the likes of these bands – they far and away exceed them.

I was lucky enough to get an inside look at the recording process of their new album, Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die, down at Godcity Studios with Kurt Ballou behind the sound board. After passing by a million times over the years, I’d worked up some sort of image of what it must be like inside, and for the most part, it stacked up.  There’s little else that makes me happier than opening a door to be instantly bombarded by massive guitar riffs, and upon my arrival I was greeted with just that. Checking out what was going on in the sound room, all I saw were a bunch of sweaty, smelly (trust me, I could tell) dudes surrounding the band’s axe-master, Kallen Bliss, shred it up and give a faint nod in my direction. It did my heart good to see these guys recording in the same studio that had just recently seen such acts as Black Breath, High on Fire, Trap Them, and my beloved Black Cobra (to list more of the bands that have worked there would likely take up a tome, so we’ll stop now).

In true Ramming Speed spirit, beers (and laughs) were had, VHS tapes of early 90’s metal videos were dissected and argued over and, to my dismay but certainly not surprise, copious amounts of Manowar worship took place, signs of the hammer unabashedly and unrepentantly thrown up all over the god damned place. Even just bearing witness to all the behind the scenes goofing off, it was made clear this was a family affair and a labor of love… and, let’s be serious, a great deal of drunken awesomeness.

While it may be true that these guys are chill as hell and down to party, that doesn’t make them solely a party band. I had a pretty interesting conversation with vocalist Pete Gallagher on the subject:

“It’s definitely frustrating to a degree, but in the end it’s been a progression. I moved up here when I was nineteen, when I was really into metal and really into having a good time… and that was awesome. And then just with keeping up with politics and world news and having a political awareness, just incorporating those two things into what we were doing was cool.  So it kinda irks me, only because we’ve been working so hard at this for so long and putting in so much effort, to always hear ‘Oh hey, you guys are a pizza metal band.’ Dude… that was the first song we ever wrote. I think we still get it because I like the idea of being positively negative. Y’know, you can be aware of what’s happening, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the good times. I think that’s an extension of what ‘party metal’ is, or wants to be, or has become, to me.”

Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die is an album three years in the making, and from what I’ve heard of it, that’s outstandingly evident. With the album now in the mixing stages, it’s already clear it will be tough competition for those aforementioned “top what-have-you lists” to come. Above all else, these close knit dudes strive to show us all, and solidify with themselves, just what a proper thrash band should be, gaining more and more momentum in that pursuit. Through the line up changes to the robberies on foreign soil, these guys have come through all the more eager to put a record to melt the faces of many. You’d better ready yourselves for the coming onslaught they’ve brewed for us on this record – already, it’s a beer soaked battering ram of metal intensity. Hold on to your pizza.

-Kellhammer

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