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Armory: The Dawn Of Enlightenment
Melodic Power/Heavy Metal
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Hope. This is a long forlorn word to describe the state of melodic metal in the United States. There are some glimmers in the likes of Iced Earth, Benedictum, and lately the youngsters, Black Tide amongst others. Add to this Armory, another young band, hailing from Massachusetts. Though a generation removed from their musical roots (and me), this crew knows how to perform melodic metal with skill and acumen. Their history begins in 2001 as high school students Chad Fisher and Joe Kurland formed Armory being 'heavily influenced by European power metal along with 80ís traditional metal.' They worked hard and crafted ten songs which they recorded. Then they called upon Joe's brother Adam to deliver the vocals. After an intense period of recording and mixing, 'The Dawn Of Enlightenment' was released in 2004. However, though well respected, it did not get the promotion it deserved. The founders admitted that there were flaws in the production and the cover art was basically mediocre. So, confident in their work, they decided to take things to a higher level and professionally re-record the album.

Leap forward to December, 2007, when the new and improved version of 'The Dawn Of Enlightenment' sees the light of day. The tracks were painstakingly re-recorded from front to back with the help of Peter Rutcho (now playing keyboards for Armory), real keyboards were added and the vocal melodies reworked. The result is an impressive and powerful work of melodic power metal with influences from past and present, and hints of thrash, modern, and progressive metal. This is a phenomenal work and truly gives hope to all of us who love and long to see melodic metal rise again in America.

From the opening intro to the closing number you are encouraged and inspired by great songs of melodic metal. This album is filled to the brim with great vocals from Adam Kurland, a brilliant twin guitar attack from brother Joe and Chad Fisher, and bassist Thomas Prezios keeps a strong and steady pace throughout. There are some epic tracks on this album including 'Faith In Steel,' 'Riding The Cosmic Winds,' 'Forged in Dragon Flames,' some near Dragonforce craziness here, and the cover of Iron Maiden's 'Flight Of Icarus,' which is very well interpreted and played. Possibly just for fun they added another bonus track, a metal version of 'Mr. Wiley,' from his level in Nintendo's Mega Man 2. (I don't know the game, but this sounds terrific!)

Hope is not lost for melodic metal in America. Armory waves the banner high and proudly. This is excellent melodic metal from a band who loves the genre, knows their history, and desires to work hard at composing and playing this fine metal. I strongly recommend that you go to their web site and buy 'The Dawn Of Enlightenment' Highly recommended!

In Short

Honestly, I cannot say enough about Armory and their debut album 'The Dawn Of Enlightenment' This is terrific melodic power metal on par and often above their modern peers here in America or in Europe for that matter. The whole work is strong: great songs, superb vocals, sterling guitars, and excellent production. It doesn't get any better than this. Hail Armory!

This album was independently produced by Armory. Please visit the web site to purchase this album.

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