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This is the second CD from Armoured Angel, an Australian band playing
mid-paced melodic death metal. Released in 1994, it was the final
release from the band's original lineup.
Armoured Angel's style combines death metal rhythm guitar with heavy
metal leads and varied, gruff vocals. The atmosphere on this record is a
a bit like mid-period Bolt Thrower, only with a more melodic
edge. Solemn, crushing songs are this band's hallmark. The sound on
Mysterium is dominated by the low-end: there's lots of bass, the guitars
are tuned low, with plenty of crunch, and the searing vocals add even
more depth. The drums are kept far back in the mix, but they're still
The first few seconds of "Myth of Creation" are a tremendous lead-in to
the album... the angry, exultant feeling on this track is irresistible!
The main riff has a rolling sound to it, and the vocals follow much
the same rhythm. Some expansive lead guitar parts add a bit of
"Heir to Evil" speeds things up a bit, with nimble riffing and a rousing
chorus. There's a slower break in the middle, with some atmospheric
guitar and bass work. The vocal timing on this song is excellent.
The vocals on "Enigmatise" are insanely great -- varied, threatening,
and vicious, yet perfectly understandable. The guitar work is equally
fine, with plenty of cutting riffs. There's a nice, complex bass line
during the breakdown on this song, as well. To me, this is the
quintessential Armoured Angel tune.
"Carved in Sin" starts off with an explosive riff, and then settles into
an unrelenting rhythm. Between the speedy main theme and the heavy
slowdown, it's hard to resist a little headbanging...
"Pray for Me" is the most atmospheric song on the album, with mid-paced,
heavy progression drenched in caustic rhythm guitar. The sound here is
so damn bleak! The pummeling drums deserve special mention.
"Elegy" is an instrumental piece that finishes out the album. The lead
guitar work on this song has tons of feeling!
Armoured Angel's first lineup was never as well-known as they ought to have
been, despite their original and punishing sound. It's a shame, because
this EP is a stellar example of old-school death metal. If you can find
this, or any of the band's other releases, pick it up without
hesitation! Armoured Angel is among the forgotten jewels of Aussie
metal. Highest recommendations.
Standout tracks: "Enigmatise", "Pray for Me"
Review by Vorfeed: http:/www.vorfeed.net