16 Jan 2017

Armagedon: "Thanatology"

Chugs and tremolos at the artist's discretion
Go digging around in Poland's heavy metal history and you'll come up with quite a few gems. Some, like Armagedon from Kwidzyn, have been hanging on since the 80s, during which time they released a few demos before their true debut Invisible Circle in 1993. The original crew broke up in 1994, only to re-emerge in 2006 for another hard hitting bout in the ring.

The group's third album, Thanatology, offers brutally chiseled death metal carved from the same material that gave us bands like Vader, Sphere and Hate. The album reflects a certain respect for where death metal has come from in all its primal glory, but it also shows a desire to hint at where the genre should go. Through a presentation of highly kinetic songwriting and commendably immersive production values, the various fluctuations between grave melodies and simpler, more primitive elements, Thanatology stays the course along a narrow line finely balancing speed and heaviness.

"...Self Destruction is significantly more primordial..."

Though death metal has already been thoroughly mapped and explored, Armagedon serve up an everflowing stream of interesting and modern angles. There is little new ground to be broken with Thanatology, but Armagedon presents a certain duality. The album's split personality becomes apparent mainly through a healthy progression through many styles that borrow from thrash and black metal in equal parts. Where songs like Cemeteries focuses on eerie, drawn out passages, a shorter opus like Self Destruction is significantly more primordial in both its shallow composition and its ruthless delivery.

Slawomir's hollow growls puts a menacing finishing touch on their most glorious moments, forged by effective rhythms and gruesome riffs in unison. Armagedon show off a convincing display of the band's internal dynamics, their will to perform widely apparent. What keeps Thanatology from truly soaring above the rest is its hook-less composition. The album deserves a few spins from any death metal fanatic, but it even after repeated listening it doesn't quite stand up to the classics.


Released in 2013 by Mystic Production


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