Sasha Merkel of Pirate Smile forwarded me a copy of Norwegian Ribozyme a few weeks ago. It took me no less than 3 reviews before I had my thoughts figured out on this one. It throws you in different directions throughout this melodic journey. 40 Minutes of music ranging as far as Stoner rock, Industrial, power pop and indie English guitar pop.
Ribozyme offers and intriguing cocktail of styles which will not instantly grip. It takes a little time for things to sink in, but once it has nested, it is pure pleasure. I hear Tool and Last Crack running by crashing head on with Oasis and Ministry, like in "Caskets" and the appreciated "The Bricks went Flying." Rammstein marches through their sonic wasteland, clashing with Opeth, creating pole dancing mayhem in "Over the Galvanized." It's those songs that hint a glimpse of the precision with which Ribozyme manages to let styles collide and hustle things into well molded tracks. It never comes across forced. All sounds very organic, even though it scruffs towards industrial. "Leverage" for instance, leans more towards industrial metal with over the top tweaked vocals and distorted guitars, popping into pace. Rather abstract, intense, but still melodic.
In all this extravagance it is the power and marksmanship of the trio which is outstanding. Drummer Cato Olaison hammers heavily computerized beats together with an almost Aldridge-like organic sound'n precision, laying down Bonham power in a Rammstein sound byte, so to say. Bard Boge is the binding factor between this drum mayhem and the excellent guitar work of Kjartan Ericsson. Not only skillful as guitarist, he is also blessed with an excellent voice and wide range suited fort his endeavor. Much like the music of Ribozyme, you have to get used to his vocal lines and expression, but it is gripping.
Perhaps the spin of all spins to prove this is "Downside Advantage" which sums it all up just perfectly. Withheld melodic melancholy with abstract elements, like Alice in Chains coinciding with old school Rush and Pink Floyd.
A lot of influences pop into mind when you take this 40 minute journey, and even as many vaporize within seconds. It is fragments which call upon those recognitions, feelings which cling to you. All adds up on this one.
Ribozyme combines styles and emotions matching a wide spectre of moods. It is simultaneously varied in styles as it is straight forward driven, catchy as it is freaky, held back as it is bursting into fury.
A lot to get your head around in only a few spins... But very much worth the effort. Stand amazed!