Review: Armageddon – Captivity & Devourment

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[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!

NO FLUSH

(Photo: VIA; art by Paolo Girardi)

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  • Maik Beninton

    First line and already has spelling errors.
    Still better than anything Axl Rosenberg ever wrote.

    • Did you just skip the editor’s note or what?

    • Supreme Chief Poopypanties

      And far less errors than the Daily Mail.

      • VVayne Brady

        The Uk should be collectively embarrassed by the Daily Mail.

        • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

          We are.

          • Speaking of the UK….I got a scathing email from a customer in UK today. He collectively tried to call me an idiot by using every word in the english language BUT idiot, lol.

          • Dagon

            Was it as cool as Monty Python’s dead Parrot skit?

          • Supreme Chief Poopypanties

            Did they fart in your general direction?

          • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

            Sometimes at work when I’m dealing with a really repetitive enquiry from someone who just isn’t that sharp, I feel like letting off a brutal “Dude, seriously?”. But I’m just too nice a guy.

          • I tell them: “Ya, no joda!”

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            PENN STATE!

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            Fuck you Tyree!!!!

          • Stockhausen

            Yeah, get ‘im!

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            He has not responded yet.

          • Stockhausen

            Look out dude there he is!

          • Tyreeling In The Years
          • Lacertilian

            @do_you_think_he_saurus:disqus time?

          • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

            Were they the hobo eating ones?

        • Stockhausen

          “Nuke ’em.”
          -You

        • Supreme Chief Poopypanties

          Read up on George Clooney’s response to their apologies a while back. Priceless stuff, and they’ve been licking their wounds ever since. Now it’s just one huge shrine to Kim Lardassian.

    • Thanks for the compliment! Jajaja!

  • Dagon

    Very spot on with the 80s comment. I find this track to be surprisingly enjoyable. Good stuff, Link!

  • Stockhausen

    The Fugitive Dust music video is super lolbuttzy, but the song is groovy and I’m really digging it. Great writeup, Link, this album may be my new ham!

    • Awesome, dead composer! I’m glad you liked it! 😀 You can check their first record too, it’s on the same vibe too!

  • Not a single “boing”? oh well. Great work Link!

    Damn this track is rocking! The tone is awesome

    GL

    • Jajajaja, well, the songs are very good and I can get high to the ups with that bass tone, so it’s still boñoñoing material!

      Thanks, GL!

      LL.

  • Supreme Chief Poopypanties

    Great article, Link!
    The beginning of that ‘Fugitive Dust’ song made me think it was about to veer off into industrial-metal territory, oddly enough.

    • Stockhausen

      Yeah, I was expecting it to go in a very different direction than it ended up.

      • Supreme Chief Poopypanties

        It was kinda reminding me of one of those intro parts on In Flames’ ‘Soundtrack To Your Escape’.

    • That beginning is a harmonized guitar with a huge wall of pedals. It’s an awesome beginning. That and Equalizer are the most ‘single’ type songs of the album, so you can check the other ones too if you liked it! 🙂
      Thanks, KJU! hope i can get blessed by your majestic kindergartens!

  • VVayne Brady

    I’m checking this band out. Not bad! More straightforward than my usual fare, but it still hits pretty hard. Thanks for this review!

    • Stockhausen

      I was not expecting to like that tune at the start, but it hits and it works. I dig.

      • Dagon

        No fucking around with the solos either.

    • Thanks to you, Dubia! <3 Whenever you need a melodic dose of music, I think it can be helped with this record.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    Better than I could do in Spanish, that’s for sure. Great job Link, dig the music quite a bit. Too bad David Draiman typed all their song titles on the bandcamp page.

    • Stockhausen

      CAPTIVITY AND DEVOURMENT (LISTEN TO DEVICE)
      LOCKED IN (LISTEN TO DEVICE)
      RENDITION (LISTEN TO DEVICE)
      …..

      • InfinityOfThoughts

        OOOO WA AH AH AH AHH!!

        BUY TRIVIUM’S LATEST, VENGEANCE FALLS

        LISTEN TO DISTUR…I MEAN DEVICE

    • OOOO WA AH AH AH

      OH

      OH

      OH
      OH

      OOOO WA AH AH AH

      Thanks a lot, mr. Logic!

  • Max

    I’ve been listening to this album pretty steadily until I was recently locked out of its Bandcamp page for playing it too much without buying it. So now I intend to order the CD, of course.

    Speaking as somebody who has NEVER liked Arch Enemy, I think this is way, way better. The only song on it that reminds me too much of Arch Enemy is “The Equalizer”, but the rest of it is great.

    I, too, agree that it’s nice to have such prominent and gnarly bass.

    • Dagon

      That lock out thing happened to me with the Saturndust album, right when I decided I wasn’t going to buy anything this year. I’ve been hustling swim bladders on the black market ever since.

      • Max

        Yeah, I’ve experienced it on a bunch of Bandcamp pages now, I get the impression it’s a feature that’s only just been introduced.

        I agree with it in principle – artists ought to get paid – but I wish the honeymoon period was a lot longer. These days I like to REALLY be sure I enjoy a record before purchasing it. I think that’s a right we should all have in this era.

        • Enemy Of The Free World

          On com-puta too? Or only on the mobile app?

          • Max

            Just the computer; I still live in the dumb-phone era.

          • JVVG

            The day ‘smart’ phones are actually smart, by any actual cognitive science measure, will be the day they – and by extension whichever manufacturer and carrier each has the largest share of their respective markets – enslave humanity.

            And I for one will welcome our new smartphone overlords… But only if they promise to get rid of roaming fees completely.

          • Max

            I’d like to remind them that as a trusted Disqus commenter, I can be relied upon to recruit multitudes of humans to toil in their underground call-centres.

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            That sucks. I only BC on computer too. Haven’t run into lockdown yet.

          • Max

            It might depend on each artist’s customizable settings. But I’ve never encountered it until just the couple past weeks, and I’ve streamed stuff pretty intensively in the past.

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            I sure hope it isn’t a new feature for everyone, I’ve begun to use BC quite a lot recently…

      • bladders nomnomnomnom

      • Lacertilian

        Wow, I’ve never been locked out.
        How much were you jamming that beast?
        I bought it within a day or so of your awesome review. Already on my ‘Don’t Forget These For The AOTY List’

        • Dagon

          For the review alone I probably listened to it a good 10-12 times. I am a cheap deity.

    • VVayne Brady

      Hail Max! We’ve missed you.

      • Max

        Hail President! I’ve been here; lurking. I tend to comment only when I think I’ve got something absolutely relevant to add to the topic at hand.

        • VVayne Brady

          Fair enough. I’ve been commenting far less the last few weeks while writing my dissertation, but I finished it this morning.

          • Max

            Well, congratulations, man of the hallowed grove!

            With the dissertation vanquished, when are we getting another Think Tank? I always find something to comment on with those!

          • VVayne Brady

            I’m hoping to do some writing this weekend!

        • JJM

          does…not…compute

          • me neither, Max talks pure gold. He’s out Midas King of the Disqus.

    • Tyreeling In The Years

      I can honestly say that I never gave a shit about Arch Enemy. Not even their older shit.

      • Max

        Back in the day I obtained Burning Bridges and the first song on it is great – that was the basis upon which I got the album – but the rest of it was spell-bindingly bad. That was the end of it for me and Arch Enemy. Occasional snippets I heard in the years hence have only confirmed the distaste.

        Nobody disputes that Michael Amott can play rings around the Earth’s orbit but he coulda picked a darker scale or two.

        • Michael Amott is one of my fav guitarrist despite his flaws. You can try with Spiritual Beggars too, if you want to hear him in another side. He can be very repetitive in the structures, but I still valorate him because his tone and melodic 80 sensibilities n_n)

          • Max

            Yes, I should probably check out Spiritual Beggars someday.

            Naturally I also think it’s a darn shame he wasn’t included in the recording phase of the Carcass re-union. The more sober assessment of Surgical Steel many have made is that it’s basically “Swansong with fast bits” and that’s not an inaccurate take by my reckoning. Given Michael’s absence from both records, versus his participation in the legendary Heartwork, I can’t help thinking that Bill Steer on his own won’t quite cut the mustard in any future Carcass material.

            Carcass themselves have always downplayed Amott’s contribution to that band, but secondary-status band members often contribute more to the strength of a band’s material behind the scenes that the spokesmen let on; even when they’re not credited with much or don’t actually play a lot on the record.

          • First era is more Stoner, second era is more heavy-doomy and new era is more hard rock. My picks of each one are: Ad Astra, On Fire and Earth Blues 🙂 On Fire is one of my fave albums in all time.

            As far as I know, Michael’s work in Carcass in that era was more strong only in Heartwork. Death Certificate and Embodiment were two of his more worked contributions.

            Necrotism was only because the solos, all the material was wrote by Steer, Walker and Owen already. In fact, I think it was his fault that he leave the Carcass boat because Arch Enemy commitments (and, as I can sense from their declarations in interviews it was because Michael wanted to have more control on the music and he knew that Walker and Steer ARE Carcass). Do you think Mike’s inclusion in Heartwork really determinated the melodic direction? Or do you think the Walker/Steer version of that was only a hired gun?

            I really enjoyed Surgical Steel, but I’m sure Amott’s style would have suited a lot on some songs, even when the new guitarrist is very good too. I really missed him in Carcass, the live shots of Graspop and Wacken were very fun to watch, and they seemed to be very happy playing all the material together.

          • Max

            “Do you think Mike’s inclusion in Heartwork really determinated the melodic direction? Or do you think the Walker/Steer version of that was only a hired gun?”

            My take is that probably both versions are true. According to Jeff Walker, Mike contributed about a third of the riffs on Heartwork, which is a lot; so even if Carcass would have gone in that artistic direction anyway (which I believe they would have), he’s certainly responsible for fleshing quite a bit of that direction out. But even if you’re contributing riffs, that doesn’t mean you’re getting to structure songs. And he apparently also didn’t like the way one of his riffs was altered somewhat in “Death Certificate”.

            There’s also the issue that he wasn’t actually getting to play much on the records. Carcass employed the same method that a lot of two-guitar bands do: getting one guy to record both rhythm parts so that they synchronize better, and just having each guitarist record their solos (Slayer do it this way too, for example). Not being able to record a lot of the material you’ve written will rankle for some people – Bob Rusay also felt like this during the recording of Cannibal Corpse’s Tomb of the Mutilated.

            So ultimately Mike moved on. And that he had equal or greater success with Arch Enemy proves that his instincts to do so were probably correct. That said, I maintain that if Carcass continues, and they don’t want their well of inspiration to run dry this time, they’ll let Ben Ash behind the creative wheel somewhat. To do so is perhaps a little more contentious since he’s a fan rather than a peer as Amott was; but I truly believe that – especially with bands at Carcass’s stage of career – it is of real benefit to spread the responsibility of songwriting around a bit.

          • Thanks for your response, Max. I always know a little bit more of the writing process with some of your comments.

            Never knew about the dual guitar part in the studios. Even the Death Certificate fact is new to me, jajaja.

            I think you’re right. Ben Ash, and even Dan Wildling, are both excellent players that can bring good sounds to the Carcass formula.

            To be honest, I liked some songs in last Arch Enemy, but, even when I’m a fan of Michael’s playing, I really felt that 70 % of their last record was really tamed and predictable.

            Thanks again for you display of information. Very appreciated.

        • Also, The Immortal is one of my fav songs of them. The Johan Liiva era is my favorite.

    • Omg, receive word of mr. Max is so awesome! I really admire you for your comments. Thanks a lot.

      It got a very refreshing hard rock vibe 😀

      Cheers, Max!

      • Max

        Cheers, Link. It might very well shape up to be my album of the year, actually!

  • This is not remotely my kind of thing but the dawn of Link’s career in writing for the Toilet is a wondrous sight to behold. Hail Link, Hail Joe, Long May This Bowl Flush.

    • Very appreciated, mr. C! I know it’s not your style. But, I’m very grateful that you came here to tell these words.

      I still jam some of your recommendations, and I thank you for that too!

      *FLUSHES DOWN THREE TOILET AT THE SAME TIME TO CELEBRATE*

  • JJM

    Link, bringer of the LOLZ in a language that’s not even his native…

  • Hey, toiletters!

    I’m really grateful for their warm reception on the review. I was very nervous writing and
    making the sentences, even I had to handle a dictionary to finish some
    structures. As you know, my english is self-taught and I think first in spanish,
    so I know there are broken things but I don’t know which ones and how to fix
    it. In fact, in my dumb mind everything is in order, I think. In some parts I
    was giving up with the writing, I was thinking that it wasn’t good enough and
    didn’t want to sent a really bad article (I even reached a good fella over here
    to do a split article to cope with the anxiety ;p).

    I’m finishing this Master semester and this record have helped me get through
    (among others that i’ve found and other with the help of the toilet) all the
    stress I’m dealing. I really feel good and I think I’m handling all my work with
    good mood and good vibes 🙂

    I know most of you don’t dig this vibes and have other interests, but that’s fine for me,
    because that’s what makes us a strong community: the diversity. And I’m
    discovering new music, new stories and new vibes from ALL of you.

    In the final words, thanks to Papa Joe, Masterunderwear and Dubia for being so receptive
    and encourage me to submit. Also, all the good people over here that comments.

    You don’t know how I get help from your daily communication, in this way I feel less
    isolated in the office, because I honestly pronounce few words these days to
    other people; also, the language practice is giving me more vocabulary, I just
    hope I can still learn from this. All of you have terrific writing that I
    appreciate.

    Thanks to all!

    Love,

    Link

  • InfinityOfThoughts

    I’ve got to listen to this just because of the the review. Good job Link!

    • Thank you, mr. Infinity! <3

      • InfinityOfThoughts

        Listening now, and this is great. Good review and recommendation. I hope you get to write more reviews for us in the future!

        • Sure, bro! I already have some ideas tagged and some records that I want to share, too. I also have already some writing for a split article with another good user here and some venezuelan merol stuff.

  • JVVG

    This is such a glorious wall of text, possibly more-so because of the stream-of-consciousness-like flourishing language (than in spite of it), that I have left an obscene smudge on my tablet from the inescapable urge to get all up in its sexy prose.

  • Tyreeling In The Years

    Beer time. Don’t stay in school. Drink and grind till death.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Aa1HVibfdc

  • <3

  • Simon “Djentcrusher” Phoenix

    I haven’t been interested in anything Amott has done since Stigmata. But this review makes me want to listen to this if only for curiosity’s sake.

    Fantastic job on this review, Link mah boi.

    • Further Down the Metal Hole

      Same here, Stigmata is the last I bought.

    • Thanks a lot, Simon P.! Very honored to have the thrash badass master here too!

      It’s very melodic, but at least give it a try to see if you can do it!

  • CT-12

    Great job Link, very interesting article and I’m glad to see the diversity you’re bringing to the table here. Never really checked out this band before, but they’re sounding pretty good from what I’ve been listening to. Thanks for the guide man!

    • Thanks, Crazy Taco!! <3 Hope you dig this vibe! Stay tuned for more #linkmerol!

  • SUNLIGHTBEARD

    Link, are you srsly a half-elf Pally?

  • Scrimm

    Hey, good job Link!

    • Thanks a lot, tall man! n_n)

      • Scrimm

        I wouldn’t worry too much about your English skills, you are very clear, and your voice when writing is more important than the language you use. You have a very recognizable voice.

        • I think you’re right! The style is very important, I learnt a lot in journalism school, and I like to read, so I can switch between styles. But that’s in spanish. In english it was difficult to edit the descriptions and find good adjectives and sustantives. Some people said to me that I write good in spanish, but in english you can really feel my poor word choice or bad structures.

          The difference between spanish and english sometimes is very high. For example, I have to get used of the inverse use of adjectives.

          “Red house”
          “Casa roja”

          If I say “Roja Casa” it’s a rethoric figure, is not incorrect, but it’s only used in figurative or poetic language.

          The paragraphs conectors are very used here, so that’s why I used them a lot in the article. I delete some, and wanted to delete others that are in the current version, but I didn’t felt it was good wrote and left them.

          As I said, it was difficult because I think first in spanish to make the translation. I learnt a lot reading all the articles here, too.

          • Scrimm

            Don’t listen to those people. You’ll only get better. Style trumps everything. One of the biggest compliments I have got from other writers who have seen my stories is that I have my own style, or that I’ve described things in ways they couldn’t have. My grammar is crap and my poor form in typing costs me a lot of time going back and fixing things(I usually don’t check my comments her before posting much as most can tell lol) but I am happy that some people think I have my own voice. I look forward to more from you!

          • I’m feel very honored because all these good words, it make me feel more empowered and confident to get better.

            I’m sure you write very good, Scrimm and I will look forward to your projects too.

            Thank you very much. Good vibes!

          • Scrimm

            Yes, I am better at fiction than this kind of stuff. You deserve all these good words!

  • Warheart

    I was pleasantly surprised by this record. It’s a nice and decent album from a musician who I had lost all faith many, many years ago.

  • Lacertilian

    @linkleonhart:disqus continues the Southern Hemisphere Toilet Invasion!
    Good stuff mate

    • Proud warriors from the south! Now we’re attacking from the latin american front! Thanks!

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    I really enjoy the first two Arch Enemy albums, but nothing of theirs that came after. You’re making me wonder whether I should look to Armageddon for what I’m desperately searching for in Arch Enemy’s remaining discography.

    I applaud this review and your effort to write it, that shit’s not even easy when you’re writing in your mother tongue.

    • I think you can try. It’s still that blend of melodic hard rockish work with harsh vocals. You can try with their first one: Crossing the Rubicon, it’s good too! http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Crossing+The+Rubicon/3865743

      Thanks a lot, it was difficult, but with patience and a dictionary I can try to make my sentences more “understandable”.

      • Further Down the Metal Hole

        Will definitely check it out, thanks!

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    venezuala—the southern hemisphere—–antarctica

    realms beyond the dreams of those in the north—pyramids–jungles–astra; guatamalen mystery —

    technological native american—-mountain

    the realm of the pleasure galaxy—and the secret wine of kings

    http://youtu.be/eDTbopUYg20

    http://youtu.be/l0sIxiHUSJE

    http://youtu.be/t7zk4as9kzA

  • Enemy Of The Free World

    This is a pretty nice album. Been giving it a few spins ever after someone linked it on the ToiletFB. MDM is more miss than ht for me usually, but this is one of the better ones.