It’s no secret that ‘Armageddon’ is one of the most overused metal band names in history, with over 800 entries on Metal Archives alone. That being said, too many metal heads that shouldn’t be overlooking this particular ‘Armageddon’, have been for far too long. Formed in Sweden in 1997 by Chris Amott (ex- Arch Enemy), Armageddon has been home to a revolving door of session musicians, who have all happily catered to Amott’s array of metal writing concepts.
Captivity & Devourment is the band’s first release since 2003’s Three. The album features ten beautifully composed songs, all of which flawlessly pay homage to Sweden’s original melodic death metal sound. It kicks off with the title track, “Captivity & Devourment”, which has a more traditional death metal feel. This tune gives us our first opportunity to hear Matt Hallquist (Under A Serpent Sun) expertly deliver his signature punchy death metal vocals over Amott’s guitar work, and although Hallquist’s screams (traditional highs and lows) are nothing out of the ordinary, they compliment the music perfectly.
The album continues with the tracks “Locked In” and “Rendition”. These two tracks are instantly memorable and pack more of Amott’s signature melodic hooks and anthem like solos. However, the riffs are just as heavy and driving as they are insanely catchy. We even get a chance to hear Amott’s fantastic clean vocals by this point in the album, on “Rendition”.
The album’s fourth track, “Fugitive Dust”, was in my opinion, a perfect choice for a single. It kicks off with an ’80s sci-fi style intro, reminiscent of the soundtrack to the movie, “Blade Runner”. It then instantly kicks in to the main riff, a classic choppy melodeath riff, with quick pick scrapes and three note harmonic sweeps, adding even more to the mechanical sci-fi feel of the entire track. Hardly surprising, since their first album, Crossing the Rubicon (1997), was entirely science fiction themed. (Scroll down for the “Fugitive Dust” video)
Other songs like, “Conquer,” “Thanatron” and “The Watcher” really bring the initial ideas behind this album to fruition. We even get to hear more of Amott’s clean vocals on the track, “Equalizer”. As a whole, Captivity & Devourment is destructive, beautiful, masterfully layered, sinister, sludgy and downright metal. Fans of this genre shouldn’t be able to ignore this one.
Armageddon is now based in New York City and are currently taking the upper east coast by storm on their No Dead Weight tour with Framework. All the details for this tour are on Armageddon’s Facebook page. If you have the opportunity to check out one of these shows, I’d advise you to do so!
Key Tracks: Locked In, Rendition, Fugitive Dust