Genre: Heavy metal

Origin: Bulgaria

Current line-up:
Maria Doychinova - Vocals 
Yavor Kamenov - Guitars 
Victor Georgiev - Guitars 
Alexander Spiridonov - Bass 
Borislav Glavev - Drums

Current label:
Inferno Records

Voice of the Wilderness - 2009

Official Site:

1. Hello Maria and Happy New Year! How are you? How do you feel now that your debut album “Voice of the Wilderness” is released? Which are your expectations from it?

    Hello Nick, greetings from RAMPART! And Happy New Year full of good metal music! We are glad that our debut album is released by the French label Inferno Records. The album “Voice of the Wilderness” concentrates our music efforts for the last three years. It’s been receiving a good feedback from the metal media worldwide. Our expectations were our music to cross the boundaries of our country with this release and Inferno Records made it possible. We hope that the album will provoke serious interest amongst the heavy metal fans. And we expect to reach their hearts with our songs. 
2. You have signed to Inferno Records, a label that specializes on more extreme sounds and I think that you are the first traditional metal band that they have in their ranks. How do you feel about it? Do you think that Inferno Records has the experience to promote a heavy metal band in the right way?
    Inferno Records are an independent label which specializes in selling almost every kind of metal: heavy, black, thrash, doom, rock, progressive and so on. Till now besides our band they have released the stuff of VASTATOR (Chile), HELLHOUND (Japan), LEGIONS OF WAR (Sweden), HATESTORM (Russia) and VORGUS (Sweden). Inferno Records have appraised that they can release a Bulgarian band as well. For us the contract with them was a good chance and a kind of recognition as well. We are grateful to Inferno Records for their support. For all members of RAMPART the most important thing was that they are true metalheads and that they indeed like our music. No matter of the genre good metal music will be remembered. In our opinion Inferno Records have the experience to promote our band properly. We have exceptional relations with our label and we highly respect the work and the promotion they are doing for our first album.
3. Now for someone that hasn’t listened to your music and would ask you how you sound, which are the elements that characterize your sound, what would you tell them regarding your music?
    Our music is classic heavy metal. It reminds the general 80’s epic power. We are influenced by the German power metal bands such as RUNNING WILD, GRAVE DIGGER, GAMMA RAY, HELLOWEEN. In some of RAMPART’s songs you may find classic influences from VIVALDI, PAGANINI, BEETHOVEN, and WAGNER. Our music is a combination between power metal and classic music. It is filled with enchanting melodies, strong ground rhythms, double guitar solos and surprising orchestrations. Another element that characterizes our sound is the lack of the typical female operatic stuff in the vocals. This is our own style in the framework of traditional (Teutonic) heavy metal which will always be timeless.
4. I think that the band started back in 2002, so I would like to know how old some of the songs that you have included in your album “Voice of the Wilderness” are and if you have changed them a bit and in which way? Also are there any new compositions on your debut CD?
    In fact the band started its activities in 2006. Our guitar player Yavor and our drummer Bobby decided to play together in 2002 and they made some attempts to form the band but the real foundation of RAMPART happened in 2006. And some of the songs date from this year (2006). These are “Warriors”, “Voice of the Wilderness”, “Orchrist”, and “Age of Steel”. Their compositions and arrangements were already prepared and created by our composer and guitar player Yavor at that time. There were no changes in this stuff neither in the lyrics nor in the music. The songs dating from 2007 are “Stay Aside” and “Mirror to Dreams”. And the new compositions from 2008 included in the “Voice of the Wilderness” album are “The Flood”, “Desert of Time” and “Under Control”. Currently we are working on new songs (5 are almost ready).
5. Why did you name the album “Voice of the Wilderness”? Is there a special meaning in the album’s title?
    We discussed the name of the album and we all agreed that this one completely responds to our ambition to be a bastion (a rampart) of the heavy metal music in Bulgaria. This idea also combines the main intension of the album - as a whole “Voice of the Wilderness” is an expression of protest and a short retrospection of the contemporary mass culture.
6. I think that you write the lyrics. So what kinds of themes inspire you to write about? Is there a story from your country that you would like to write a song or a concept in the future about?
    The messages of the lyrics are different: there are some social topics (“Under Control” and “Desert of Time”), some epic (“Warriors” and “Orchrist”), some interpreted live situations in a metaphoric aspect (“The Flood” and “Stay Aside”). For our next album there are two texts about pirates “The Black Pearl” and “Bloody Symphony” and two texts (besides “Orchrist”) inspired from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. I find proper topics for our music in knights’ tales or pirates’ legends. I often invent texts inspired from real life situations, but I also find a parallel to themes from history, psychology, philosophy, myths and legends.
    There is such a story – I intend to write a text about the Battle of Adrianople occurred on April 14, 1205 between Bulgarians under Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria, and Crusaders under Baldwin I.  The tower you can see on the front cover of “Voice of the Wilderness” is exactly the Baldwin’s tower at Tsatevets fortress. It is a symbol of victory and at the same time of our band’s name as a bastion of the heavy metal. 
7. I would like to stand a bit on the song “Age of Steel” which differs a bit from the other songs on the album. How did you decide to add some classic music instruments to your sound? How difficult or easy was that to do? Do you plan to do it again in the future?
    The ballad “Age of Steel” is devoted to the power of the will. In dark times defenders of faith stand strong enough to pay the price of the existence. Any future tomorrow depends on the will. Here you may hear the tender violins of our guest musician Sofia. Well, the composer of the song – the guitar player Yavor has a professional music education; he graduated the Bulgarian Music Academy. He also is a violinist. It was logical for him to create something in this direction. He wrote the orchestration of the composition, and my friend Sofia recorded the violins, the viola and the cello in the studio. I do not think that this was difficult to them. We liked the final result and we intend to keep this line of implementing classical instruments in our future songs.  
8. You are a 3 member band, so the question is obvious… will you stay like that or are you searching for other members? What do you do in your live shows?
    In fact we are NOT a trio. RAMPART has five members: as it has always been from the foundation of the band. This delusion comes from the fact that only three of us recorded in the studio the album “Voice of the Wilderness” – we are the nucleus of the band: the guitar player Yavor Kamenov, the drummer Borislav Glavev and me. Yavor is the composer and the author of the music, I am the writer of the lyrics and Bobby is more than a drummer – he is the musician with the best ideas for the future of RAMPART. From 2006 till now many second guitar players and bass players passed through the band. Most of them were just session musicians. In the spring of 2009 we finally found the true guys - the guitar player Victor and the bass player Alexander. They brought new energy in RAMPART and now our line up is stable and creative.
9. You will also participate in a tribute to HELLOWEEN/GAMMA RAY. Can you tell us a few things about it? Which song will you cover?
    The upcoming tribute album to HELLOWEEN / GAMMA RAY “HelloRay” will be out in 2010 via the Norwegian label Epicus Records. In this release are involved fascinating bands as Germany's KICKHUNTER featuring Markus Großkopf (HELLOWEEN), SIGNUM REGIS from Slovakia which features Göran Edman (MALMSTEEN, TIME REQUIEM), GAIA EPICUS from Norway, GUARDIANS OF MANKIND from Finland and others. The idea of this tribute is the bands participating to be real fans of HELLOWEEN / GAMMA RAY. This makes the album different from the previous tributes and I am sure that it will raise interest. Our participation is with HELLOWEEN’s ”Just a Little Sigh” song which we recorded specially for ”HelloRay”. We were chosen to participate on the basis of our author’s music. It is an honor for us to take part in this tribute.  
10. Which are the biggest difficulties that a metal band from Bulgaria has to confront in order to become known outside the country?
    There are a lot of difficulties and challenges in front of every band, especially a Bulgarian one. It was hard for us to make a compromise with the sound in a wide range of studios here. It was a challenge to keep our spirit during these three years because the constant staff of a metal band indeed is a hard task in the conditions of our scene. I can say that this is the same story as the Myth of Sisyphus. We roll a huge boulder of the metal music up a hill, only to watch it roll back down. The lack of trust in the Bulgarian bands and in their potential leads to an absurd sensitiveness in our country. But there are other opportunities. The proof is that we signed to the French label Inferno Records. We would like to thank to all who believed in us!  
11. The only heavy metal band I know from Bulgaria are AHAT (AXAT). So how is the metal scene in your country? Are there some other metal bands that are worth to check out?
    The Bulgarian scene does not give many chances for metal bands. So we fight for our music and we fight for saving metal here, because metal is our childhood and our life. AHAT is an old heavy metal band; they are titans – fathers of this genre here. In the frame of the power heavy metal the contemporary Bulgarian bands deserving attention and that worth checking out are PROJECT ARCADIA and SJK. Good black metal bands are SERPENTINE CREATION and CLAYMORE. Other excellent bands to look out for are WARTIME (progressive thrash) and HYPERBOREA (death metal). We hope to overcome the obstacles in front of our metal scene in future.
12. Thanks for your time answering my questions Maria! Good luck with your debut album! The epilogue of this interview belongs to you… 
    We would like to invite you to Bulgaria, Sofia, on June 19th, 2010, when we will play with CRYSTAL VIPER and WILD KNIGHT (featuring the guitar player Majk Moti from RUNNING WILD). You may visit our MySpace profile and listen to our music - http://www.myspace.com/rampartbg! Heavy metal is our Faith! 
    Thanks for presenting our band, 
    Maria from RAMPART
Nick  “Verkaim”  Parastatidis