Armagedon - _Death Then Nothing_
(Mystic Production, 2009)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (6 out of 10)
It doesn't take more than two laps on most Polish death metal releases to realize that bands from this prolific European nation have their nuts and bolts arranged in a manner that differs from the Scandinavians and the North Americans, and Armagedon is yet another example. Hailing from a small town in the north of Poland called Kwidzyn, Armagedon unleash _Death Then Nothing_ on us; only their second studio album since forming in the late '80s.

The ten blistering slices of death metal found on this offering are lead by the title track, with its haunting piano intro and its explosive tremolo-picked main riff. The band clearly signals its intentions of playing some fierce, old-school influenced death metal. "Dead Code" is number two on the album and it's a mid-tempo track with some background orchestrations. The rhythm section provides a stiff backbone for the guitarists to shred away. "Enemy" blasts off at full speed, riding on yet another neck-breaking riff. "Blanked of Silence" may be the most memorable number and that's accredited to its well lubricated flow of pummeling riffs as long as it runs. Number five is "Seeing Is Believing"; an aggressive, fast-paced track with some oriental themed screams in the background that make it more distinct among its compatriots.

Starting the second half of the album is "Bed of Thorns". It's the shortest track and has a hint of Morbid Angel plus a face-ripping riff that will automatically get some heads banging. Next up is "Father of Oblivion", which has the best riff on the album. The band also doesn't beat it to death; they just throw it out there and take it back, keeping you wanting more. "Emptiness Beyond Believe" follows with a couple of intelligent riffs and the rest of it is built around them. Again the keyboards are used in the background to spice things up a bit. "Betrayed" clocks in at number nine and sees the band reaching a stalemate of creativity with its mid-tempo and mediocre interplay between the guitars and drums. "F... End" is the last and longest track. It sticks to formula and maintains the same level of brutality despite the toned down drumming.

So don't expect lots of surprises on _Death Then Nothing_. It's not the most adventurous death metal album of the year, nor would it be held in the highest ranks among the devoted listeners of the genre. It is, however, an album by a band that has just re-united and it shows a lot of potential and tells that they know when to stop a song. The fact that the album is just over half an hour is proof enough that they don't overkill their ideas with repetitions and ordinary variations. So if you're looking for an album that keeps your adrenaline flowing for a little while longer, _Death Then Nothing_ could do the trick, but that's not where the beef is.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/armagedonofficial

(article published 24/10/2009)


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