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Not your typical melodic blackness. - 71%

hells_unicorn, January 2nd, 2011

Some bands just start off in the wrong genre. It just screams from the way that they present the music, either by tending to add in things that completely alter the feel or just by putting way too much emphasis on a particular part of the genre at the expense of the other. Lords Of Armageddon were essentially conceived to be a death/doom band, but forming at the height of the worldwide fascination with the recent advent of black metal, in much the same fashion as Sweden’s Siebenburgen labored under the idea that they were a raw 3rd wave band, rather than a melodic and somewhat gothic variant on the lightest side of it. There is way too much emphasis on vocal work, too many spoken sections, too many grooves and non-chaotic sections, and too much instrumental activity for this to be in the same genre as bands such as Troll and Old Man’s Child, even though there is a superficial commonality in some respects.

In terms of presentation, there is enough of a blackened element to the atmosphere and the depressive outlook on things lyrically for this to qualify as an accurate representation of the genre it claims, but it’s about as limited as it gets. The guitar work is somewhat fuzz driven, but largely subservient to the general keyboard atmosphere established, which is not really a droning one in comparison to “In The Nightside Eclipse” or “Stormblast”. There are occasional references to that lighter, new wave 80s guitar style of palm muted, clean strummed chords mixed in with more traditional tremolo melodies on “The Path Of The Undead”, not to mention a lot of active bass parts that actually share a good deal of prominence with the rest of the arrangement.

Be all of this as it may, the primary thing that sort of confutes things here a little is the vocal approach. Spoken vocal lines are occasionally employed in this style, but the whispered, almost tearful manner in which they are laid out here is much more akin to a gothic interpretation of sadness than the writhing variety of most depressive black metal outfits. It’s a subtle distinction, but when it is combined with a semi-whispered growl that is more in line with Dark Tranquillity than Emperor, and the general ballad-like flow of the songs, it all comes together into something quite ambiguous.

Now known by the name Mythus, this band has essentially embraced the implicit calling of their work here and reformed as a gothic oriented metal band. It doesn’t mean that these songs should be ignored, quite the contrary, they are pretty good for what they are. Perhaps a good way to perceive them is as a blackened gothic metal variant, one that is fairly ambitious musically, but largely tends to resemble what Sirenia would sound like without the female vocals. If that’s the sort of thing you go for, a visit to the myspace fan page is probably your best bet, as this didn’t enjoy a very wide distribution.