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Ram - Where (In Conclusion) CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.61 | 31 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars A total obscurity that truly blew me away. I don't know what's up with Polydor, but that label seemed to let just about anything on their label, because you can get some truly godawful stuff or some truly mindblowing stuff. After all, this is the same label that gave us James Last, which we all avoid like the plague, all the way to Ram, a totally obscure New York heavy prog band. They only released one album in 1972 called Where? (In Conclusion) (I saw some catalog state this album was released in 1969, but it sounds just too '70s, 1972 is about right to my ears anyways. I own the original LP and it gave no year of release). The band consisted of the (presumably) DeMartino brothers, John on wind instruments and Ralph on guitars and vocals, Dennis Carbone on vocals and piano, Michael Rodriguez on bass and vocals, and someone named Steeler on drums.

You might get fooled into thinking this is just another hard rock album, but they include some great use of wind instruments, like some of the members (probably John DeMartino) had probably heard some Van der Graaf Generator, as some of his sax playing reminds me a bit of David Jackson. "The Want in You" is a hard rocking number, reminding me a bit of May Blitz or Captain Beyond, with some Tull thrown in (especially the flute). What until you get a load of "Stoned Silence", one of the greatest pieces of psychedelia I have ever heard! This song really gets rocking like nobody's business, then they go into symphonic prog mode with piano and what sounds like maybe one note of Mellotron (not sure, as Mellotrons were just starting to become available in the States in '72). They get rocking again with some great guitar riffs and flute. "Odyssey" is a mellow, symphonic piece that lets you know this group was fully capable of doing symphonic prog. This is a piano-dominated piece with flute, played in a symphonic manner. I get reminded a tad of Jade Warrior. "Mother's Day Song" is a heavy piece, in the Hendrix or May Blitz vein so expect a lot of heavy guitar riffs. The vocals even sounds a bit like Hendrix or May Blitz's James Black. Then you get the side-length suite "Aza", other than "Stoned Silence", this is the album's big highlight, ranging from more mellow passages to truly hard rocking passages, and even spacy passages.

Whatever became of Ram is anyone's guess. What I do know is I'm happy they stuck around long enough to give this little-known gem and it wasn't exactly on a small label. This group could have easily fallen in the trap of "just another hard rock band", but that's not the case at all, not with all the progressive elements included, and even a couple cuts that veer towards symphonic prog. Symphonic purists might stay away from the album, but for those who enjoy hard rock or heavy prog, get this album, you won't regret it!

Progfan97402 | 5/5 |


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