Known as the longest active metal band from Cyprus, Armageddon Rev 16:16 returns with their second album, Heartless Soul, now signed to Steel Gallery Records. As with the former album, my expectations were basically the same. Since 1984, the band has been playing traditional "keep it true" heavy metal, drawing obviously from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
And, essentially, that's what you get once more, maybe even with the band moving towards more progressive power metal. Except there's a problem, and this problem is going to make this review brief.
They've added death vocals to their sound. Vocalist Jimmy Mavrommatis, or maybe some guest vocalist, is doing dirty vocals on several songs. Really? For me, that's simply a deal breaker. It's a shame really because the music is quite interesting, even engaging, an advancement for Armageddon.
A song like Figment of Imagination, for example, turns on some impressive versatile drumming and this juxtaposition of guitar styles. Eternal Spirit also throws in some twists, changing tempos and rhythms, again with the drum line leading the way. Throughout there's also an abundance of inspired and fiery guitar solos. Returning to Mavrommatis, to his credit, he generally sings clean and stays within his register, something that was a slight problem on the last album. But then there's those pesky death vocals. Really? Why did you do it? Are you trying tap into a trend, possibly go after the youngsters that want their metal to harsh and hardcore at times. Death vocals are wasted upon Armageddon, and I won't be listening to this album again.
Armageddon has always played traditional heavy/power, even moving towards more progressive power metal. Except there's a problem. They've added death vocals to their sound. Really? For me, that's simply a deal breaker.
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