According to press material, Armageddon is oldest active metal band from the island of Cyprus, operating since 1984. Curiously, but not all that strange, in 30 years, the band has never recorded a full-length album. They've stayed alive through regular performances based on the strength of two early demos and EPs.
Now, Armageddon arrives with Sundown On Humanity which features original members Jimmy Mavrommatis on vocals, Kikis Apostolou on lead guitar and Elias Andreou on rhythm guitar, with Nikolas Papaeftychiou on bass and Kerry Elgar on drums (replaced recently by Evangelos Varnava). The album features several Greek and Cypriot guest musicians, notably Firewind's Bob Katsionis offering both keyboards and guitar, and also mixing and mastering the album.
Sundown On Humanity finds the band straying little from their roots of traditional melodic heavy metal inspired by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Thankfully, though they could have used them, this album is not a rehash or re-recording of the songs from their EPs. Many of the songs invoke a galloping pace, putting them in the category of power. Good examples include Strange Dreams, 13-Seventh Eleven, and Icy Blackness, a tribute to the crew of the Russian submarine Kursk, who died when the submarine sank in the Barents Sea. More often Armageddon will mix tempos in songs like Why, Fallen Angels and Lost Souls, or Hypocrites of Destruction.
Throughout you have some deep guitar riffs and some sweet leads from Apostolou. Mavrommatis is a typical metal vocalist, forceful and strong, but sometimes it does sound like he's reaching, straining to be a metal screamer. Actually, between the guitars and the vocals, the combination gives the whole album a somewhat sharp, piercing, tone. While the guitar work was impressive, the drumming of Kerry Elgar was most impressive throughout, not merely the thumping double bass (if he uses two), but showing notable and novel dexterity. I'm wondering if his replacement can duplicate his performance.
After 30 years, I would suspect Armageddon is thrilled to have finally cut their 'debut' full-length album. And they should be as it's quite good and entertaining classic melodic heavy metal. Here's hoping only a few years pass before we have their second. Recommended.
After 30 years, Cyprus's oldest active metal band Armageddon releases their first full-length album, and it's a good one, filled with classic melodic heavy/power metal tunes.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]