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Embrace The Amott - 88%

OzzyApu, May 9th, 2007

Many folks sure don’t spin this gem! Still, who can blame how obscure Armageddon is in the realm of Metal? The genre shifting, theme revolving, member rotating group sure has a shitload of skill that the world has yet to pay attention to. I currently bought this album along with Three, which is a thrilling work of art on its own.

For those who know, Armageddon is the sole side project of Christopher Amott, guitar guru of Arch Enemy. In my words Chris is the special one of the Amott brothers; he displays both intricate guitar leads on all fronts of Metal and employs his resources, in combination with his designs, to formulate grand schemes that everyone appreciates (Three is a perfect example).

Chris performs superbly on this record, throwing all sorts of melodies, clear riffs, and enough worthy solos to make DragonForce FUGAZI – Yeah, it’s that much superior. Interesting display of riff and mesmerizing solo combinations can be heard in “Blind Fury,” the tight instrumental “Moongate Climber,” the title track, and the most compelling, gripping song on here – “World’s Apart.” The solos and the carefree mood of the guitar and synths are spellbinding I tell you!

Chris’s guitar blitzkrieg is accompanied by some serious bass support, held high and mighty by Dick Lövgren – a man with nothing to lose. Although the production follows the vocals and guitars, Dicky’s rumbling can be heard clearly enough. No concentration is necessary to hear the man’s work, which is very satisfying as you can kick back and hear every instrument execute its magic. “The Broken Spell,” “World’s Apart,” and “Cry Of Fate” are choice cuts to love Lövgren’s effort. Daniel Erlandsson acts like the Gestapo to the drums, oppressing it till kingdom come! Danny definitely stays on key with the rhythm no doubt, utilizing all that he has access to. The tracks he doesn’t appear on are the intro “Awakening” and “Grain Of Sand,” which also happens to be free of Lövgren as well. Sadly, his labor isn’t noticed first hand, as the guitars and vocals are the forefront of this album. Regardless, Chris hired two veterans in the business to help record this unnoticed masterpiece – do him a favor and LISTEN TO THIS!

Two veterans? I must be shitting myself! I left out my main man Rickard Bengtsson who, besides Chris, leads the team to victory here. Later on he would improve his vocals in Last Tribe, another commendable Power Metal band. Nonetheless, his vocals are always loud, clear, and melodic as hell. I swear this man has so much embarrassment sucked out of him that he has his shirt half unbuttoned on the cover, exposing his hairy chest – no fucking joke. When the rest of the instruments become a lower priority, Rickard makes damn sure that his vocals are memorable. For one, he seems to be able to adjust to any speed, from the charging “The Broken Spell,” to the open “Illusions Tale,” and even on the acoustic, leisurely “Grain Of Sand.” I swear that the production also alters to make it sound like Bengtsson is singing to the entire world like on “Cry Of Fate,” which he carries out professionally and beautifully – even for a man. Do not pass on this his capabilities; he will surely make your time worth more than you thought.

Although the structure of all the songs follow the common application as most bands, the material within sure sounds fresh. While Chris does a fine job on lead guitar and vocalist today, the music feels so crisp that I would love to hear a sophomore to this particular release – despite the fact that it will never come true. This album will appeal highly to Power Metal enthusiasts or open-minded listeners, but may take some time to suck in for Arch Enemy fans. Even with Chris in it, you’ve strayed far from Melodic Death Metal territory – though his solos still sound similar in tone and pitch to his Arch Enemy work. Even with the 35 minute capacity this disk holds, you’ll feel that a lifetime has passed because the tracks are so fulfilling and full of life; or as put before by those who have heard this, “A much-needed breath of fresh air.”