Bulgaria's Rampart returns with their second title, War Behest. It's a wonder that it ever came to pass. The band imploded in 2011 leaving only vocalist and founding member Maria Doychinova remaining. Now newly reformed as as four piece, the band continues their chosen path, delivering early Eighties heavy metal in the 21st century.
Despite the personnel changes that last statement is likely enough to say about War Behest, especially if you liked their debut album, Voice of the Wilderness. Actually, I think the music and overall musicianship is stronger on this album. That's all good, as it proves that the change was for the better. Notable is the impressive bass work from newcomer Svilen Ivanov.
For the heavy metal, notable are the fine songs Within the Silence, Fire Circle, Army of the Perfect, and Give Nothing Back. Fundamentally, the heavy metal composition has always been Rampart's strength, especially when laced with a deep rock groove as on Up In Arms. However, like the previous album, the skeptical element is still Doychinova's vocals. As far as female metal vocalists go, she's adequate. Mostly she sounds dull and flat, as compared to the more versatile and lively style of Marta Gabriel of Crystal Viper.
Nevertheless, War Behest finds a Rampart 2.0 in fine and healthy form, offering some of their best classic, early Eighties, heavy and power metal. Recommended.