I came across Ramming Speed a couple of years ago when I picked up a couple of A.N.S. records from Tankcrimes Records. One of them was a split between the two and the Ramming Speed side quickly became my favorite. Somewhere along the line I picked up their 2008 full length Brainwreck and have caught them live a few times, most recently with Goatwhore, Revocation and 3 Inches Of Blood. So I was pretty stoked to hear they were releasing Doomed To Destroy, Destined To Die in 2013.

These Boston guys have always seemed to evoke two different opinions from the metal masses. They either find them incredibly generic or a simple fun band. Personally I fall somewhere between the two camps. They are generic, they are fun, some songs are boring, some songs are exciting. From the opening moments of the title track they rip into the familiar thrash attack they have been known for in the past, but the songs best moment is towards the end during an explosive gang vocals part that repeats the songs title. From that moment on I noticed something about Ramming Speed that hadn't really struck me in the past. These guys incorporate a lot of elements and sounds that sound right at home on a hardcore record. If it weren't for some of the vocal parts and if the soloing was toned down this could pass for a Boston hardcore record. Okay, maybe crossover would be a more accurate genre classification, but whatever.

At thirteen songs the record can feel a little long at times, but one of the better tracks and certainly more traditionally thrash oriented "Hollow Giants" shows up at track twelve. This would have been a great spot to end the record, but they throw in another fast one with "Dead Flags" to kind of fuck up the ideal ending to the album. It's not a bad song, but its placement is a little puzzling.

Overall I like Doomed To Destroy, Destined To Die a lot, but not as much as I like Ramming Speed. I'm sure the band would call this their best material, and some songs may be, but I feel like they have yet to write a front to back solid LP. Brainwreck had it's issues and the same can be said on this record. Unfortunately for Ramming Speed, pickings aren't slim for thrash metal in 2013. Havok, Warbeast, Power Trip and even old timers Sodom, have released better thrash records this year. Ramming Speed are running with the pack right now, but might be the runt of the litter.