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I have to say it makes me sick to hear people claiming that ARMAGEDDA's "Final War Approaching" is an album that copies Darkthrone in their cult days! Such statements are, to say the least, misleading and should not become a source of prejudice for anyone out there who's looking for some really hateful True Black Metal!
I'll be the first person to admit that the opening track does remind me of the great yet fleeting moments of greatness that Darkthrone went through in the early nineties, especially with its main melodic riff. However, ARMAGEDDA do not attempt to imitate any other band in the overall feel that "Final War..." has. This is an album that comprises all the positives that TBM has to offer. Firstly, the music is hateful beyond anything that I have ever heard, and any aspect I'd choose to cover in this report would come out throned on superlatives! Let me be specific. The vocals, for instance, are among the raspiest I have ever heard ,and the growls Graav produces here must have given his throat a century-long ache! This is what passionate hate sounds like! The guitars, another highlight, are not tainted by any studio work that would make them sound different from what you'd hear if ARMAGEDDA played live and you had the honour of witnessing that. The bass itself is not so audible but still manages to play its role in the atmosphere created on this gem. As might be expected, the drums are no more and no less than what pure Black Metal should have, with some simplistic beats and others that make a rich use of double-bass. In short, everything combines to make "Final War..." a lesson in darkness and hatred! And even the cult masters Darkthrone would recognize that ARMAGEDDA were at the time the band that had taken over from them.
I won't hide my feelings, ARMAGEDDA's "Final War Approaching" belongs to my all-time favourite musical releases. All the songs are grimly excellent, but it's songs like "Deathminded", "Final War ..." and "Skogens Mörka Djup" that will forever impress me beyond reckoning! This is as close as anyone has ever come to creating perfect Black Metal!