By Dr. Abner Mality
SPEEEEED METAL FRROM SPAAAAACE! That’s what we have courtesy of Gothenburg, Sweden’s ARMORY. It’s unabashed worship of early 80’s fast but melodic metal with a few interesting twists and a heavy sci-fi vibe. Is it on the level of AGENT STEEL and SACRED BLADE? Hmmm, not quite, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing here worth exploring.
Production seems to come straight out of a time warp from 1985, even down to the guitar tunings and the drum sound. That will please greybeards and connoisseurs but confuse millenials used to digitized sounds. The speed is here in copious amounts, but mixed with a lot of twin guitar melodies that make true speed metal different from thrash. As befits the SF angle, there also a lot of strange spacy guitar effects and even the occasional VOI VODian alien riffage. The second half of the album gets a bit more experimental, as “Event Horizon” boasts some organ sounds and “Music From the Spheres” is surprisingly progressive with a ton of changes. So there is a sign that ARMORY can do more than just mimic 80’s sounds.
One aspect of the band that is hard to latch onto are the nasal, whiny vocals of Captain P. Andersson, which are like a more falsetto version of VOI VOD’s Snake. At some points, it’s just hard to take, but then, there were always a lot of these kind of vocals in old school speed metal. It doesn’t ruin ARMORY but it can be a challenge. Overall, this is an entertaining voyage to the outer limits of speed metal…