Review: Armageddon – Captivity & Devourment
[Editor’s Note: This review was written by our own beloved Venezuelan Link Leonhart. Link is not a native English-speaker but he is a colorful and descriptive writer. This review has not been edited to correct English errors because we want to preserve Link’s writing style.]
In captivity it dreamed, eated, hated and loved. It was trying to release from the cosmic prison. In its dreaming could see. The visions, engulfed in brown and red destruction, continuously tormenting. A confinement, where the memories were painfully dissolving in the space. In some point, it’ll be free of that suffering. In some point, it will be a fugitive in the dust, enjoying whatever he always wanted to enjoy of the infinite. This is an Armageddon, a conclusion of the devourment in the captivity.
Reactivate a band with a diverse catalog of music can be very tricky. This Armageddon band had three records with different directions but with one point that united them: the melodic sensibilities. Touching the power metal or the death metal styles, each album were linked each other because the guitar-centric compositions.
Commanded by-the-now legendary Christopher Amott, this new incarnation of Armageddon is killing everything with a bulldozer production called Captivity & Devourment, which tries to capitalize all the separate nods of the other three albums of this project.
The best part of this new era for Armageddon is that leave the one-man project format to engage in a full band experience. Now radicated in the US, Chris an bassist Sara Claudius approximated to young and talented musicians to inject new vibrations to his own style of compositions on the reactivated band. The record itself it’s a great refresh to the melodic metal genre and it’s very good, and we’ll delve a little bit in it. Follow me:
From the artwork, painted by the brutal Paolo Girardi, and since the first seconds of the title track and number one record you’ll feel the warm and crunchy production. In the nerdy-mix-side, while it boost Dynamic Range 5 in the copy I could listen, it’s still a good production where you can listen all the instruments, which is a good thing because the album is very song centered and the compositions are constructed from Swedish styled melodic death metal and classic hard rock origins. Since is rooted in those both genres, you could think that this record is a easy-road, but isn’t: it got the metal very well constructed and win every place where other Gothenburg injected bands failed in our last years of the genre.
In the melodic work, you can have a very wild moments together with more mellow moments. Chris Amott displays a wide palette of sounds and twists to the straight-forward barrage he made in his past bands. While retaining his trademark sound with fast shredding passages and memorable melodic lines, he could paint new sounds and play more with rhythms and riffs: extending then or even making variations with the times. And that’s also part because the duo he made with Joey Concepcion, a young guitar player that backs up very well Chris’ veterany injecting new blood to the formula.
If that doesn’t catch you, and you look for epic guitarworking permit me suggest The Watcher and Locked In guitar compositions that probably would blow your speakers with scales awesomeness. And if you look for a more hard-rock 80’s style inspired feel you can check Fugitive Dust too. Side apart, what if I tell you that a weird and complex acoustic guitar piece with entangling harmonies is in the very center of the record? Of course! And, let me tell you that the experience of that track is like watching a rapid succession of spacey collisions of stars and cosmic fumes.
The titanic work of the six-strings is complemented perfectly with the rhythmic duo of Sara Claudius and Márton Véress. The Hungarian wonder-boy shows some good drumming swag with the fills in the more groovy tracks like Thanatron or the title track, but also could manage some blast beat sections along the more complex tracks. He’s a very talented musician that I’m sure he will have much more action in the future.
Meanwhile, legends says that one house roof blowed out and the entire construction fell down when Mrs. Sara Claudius was rehearsing this material. Her bass tone is very crunchy and suits very well the distorted guitar. You can hear her very well in the mix, which is always a good thing, and also deliver some good chops in the more proggresive injected tracks like Renditions or Conquer, managing very well the times changes and injecting more life to the entire band sound. Also, she makes an awesome bass solo in Equalizer and it really launch the track to the stratosphere.
Matt Hallquist (now replaced in live setting by Antony Hämäläinen, ex-Nightrage) delivered some good vocal growls. His style is more medium range raspy tone, but’s still clear and intelligible, and suits very well the menacing songs. While it’s a growl ruffy style of vocals you can hear a up-and-down technique with which Matt could play a little bit more high and low with his range. Also, Chris Amott complement some songs with his traditional clean vocals. He have a good voice and make an interesting combo with the growls. Equalizer could be the perfect example of this appreciation.
Closing with Giants, the most melancholic and melodic tune, I could feel that the songs are perfect in the time display. In the entire listening I couldn’t sense a filler, and that’s a good sign that the band really believed in their art to show their final product for the crazy people that search for good musicianship with good melodic hooks that will stuck in your head for days like a horrible suicide video on TV.
For me. I’m blessed for this Armageddon and I really liked it. If you enjoy melodic death metal like me, I’m sure you will too!
(Photo: VIA; art by Paolo Girardi)