Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Armus - Armus

A goat's skull surrounded by two concentric circles, in turn adorned four times by the a the Nintendo seal of quality with a triangle containing the Type O Negative logo. That sounds so much more interesting than a goat and some symbols and designs that have the aesthetic value of black metal clip art! It might even be a good logo for an Illuminati-themed steakhouse, but to speculate as to that is to conceptually escape the grip of an album that figuratively lacks salt and pepper shakers, though it might come with a bottle of ketchup. That's not to say that this band doesn't have some good ideas, they're just presented like a small fries in a paper sack with ketchup packets.

There are some good ideas here - at times the guitars and vocals remind me of a one-guitar version of Unanimated's "Ancient God of Evil". It's certainly blackened, but the melodic, slightly muted tremolo riffing feels more like melodic death metal, particularly like Unanimated, though without anywhere near the same intensity. The song structures are weaker though, they're simplistic but feel drawn out with repetition due to the lack of flair and nuance. The beginning of "Eyes of the Necromancer" is an example, a simple pattern that is a bit reminiscent of a certain Verge song, but lacks the supporting cast, so it's just an arpeggio that resounds but doesn't build to the abrupt speed of the onset of the song. The black metal side doesn't shine at all due to the complete lack of atmosphere - it's dull production that sounds like a very dulled death metal demo, which is a poor contrast for this style.

The positive aspect to this demo is that there are some fragments of ideas that could be good if they are worked out. The negative side is that these are unrealized ideas and there's hardly any listening value to it.


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