Review of sorts: Tardus Mortem – Armageddon

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In which we attempt to find out if you should listen to an album.

“The maze of flesh speaks,” says Cryptae, and I am reminded of this sentence upon listening to Tardus Mortem‘s latest release, Armageddon. There’s a distinct feeling of venturing into some kind of living catacombs. Maybe that pyramid from the original Tomb Raider. Long, straight narrows may leave you exhausted and numb before suddenly giving way to sections where corridors wind and bend endlessly at odd angles. The walls are gooey, oozing, pulsating, lined with eyes—some twitching, some rolling their pupils slowly—and teeth: some gnashing, some grinning, and some lying loosely strewn about.

But perhaps we should start at the entrance. Apart from a re-recording of an old song and a Grave cover, the meat of Armageddon consists of just three tracks that are 11, 9, and 23 minutes in length, respectively. A potential listener’s response to this fact leads us to branching paths. If, for example, you’re asking “why?,” I say “why not.” Why not just succumb. Why not submit yourself to the unrelenting torrent.

If you’re saying “I don’t have time for that,” I would ask you to reconsider. What else were you gonna do, and does it matter? Objectively? Were you going to alter the fabric of reality to the point where the immutable fact that you will one day die (and will likely waste a whole lot of your time until then) is no longer an issue? Probably not, so we’re ultimately back to “why not.” This is arguably no more of a waste of time than anything else you were going to do, any other album you were going to listen to, any other feat you were endeavoring to accomplish. And making it through Armagedon is, if nothing else, a feat in itself. So why not.

If you’re simply not a fan of the kind of death metal that feels lonely without an adjective like “cavernous” or “bestial” accompanying it, your qualms about stepping into the maze are more understandable. Likely as not, however, the structure will exude a pull upon you not unlike that of gravitation, where, even if you manage to escape the immediate allure and make it back home, you will be left wondering what it was all about. What was its point? What lies at the other end? Granted, you don’t know that that will be the case, but you also don’t know it won’t be, so we arrive, once again, at “why not.”

If, on the other hand, you are a fan of the kind of death metal that seeks to evoke stomach-churning imagery in its mere description, you may nonetheless balk at the song lengths. Needless to say, this is foolish. What would you prefer? Intros, outros, interludes? A listening experience that’s compact, digestible, meeting you halfway? Traditional album structure? I thought you were cool. The overall album length doesn’t exceed that of others by much, and none of the tracks suffer from a dearth of sick riffs or interesting ideas. Guess where that leaves us? “Why not.”

If, on the third hand, you’ve enjoyed that Qrixkuor record earlier this year, you should be just fine with all of this. In fact, you’re probably speedrunning the maze with nary a glance at its horrors nor the remains of those who perished within its walls. The only branching path you’ll encounter is whether or not you liked the experience.

If you came here looking for any actual info about the music and the people who made it, or even just entertainment, you’re kinda fucked. Sorry about that. Guess you’ll have to listen to the album now.

For leading us through this abhorrent, circular maze and revealing themselves to be our inevitable fate, Tardus Mortem gets

3.5 out ov 5 Lara Crofts Hopping Through a Weird Fleshy Tunnel

Armageddon is out now on Emanzipation Productions.

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