Monday, November 18, 2013

Armory-Empyrean Realms

Metavania Music

Towsend, Massachusetts-based Armory, who should not be confused with either the speed metal band Armory from Sweden or the thrash metal band Armory from Whittier, California,  are a power metal outfit that was formed back in 2001 by guitarist Chad Fisher (Soul Remnants) and guitarist/ (studio) drummer Joe Kurland. Joining the pair of Chad and Joe (who, collectively, deliver epic guitar solos that are as finely-crafted as they come!)  are vocalist Adam Kurland, bassist Tom Preziosi (Forced Asphyxiation, Soul Remnants, ex-The Year Of Our Lord) and keyboardist Peter Rutcho (Who, according the the Metal Archives, was both the engineer and the session keyboardist for the group's 2007 debut-album, "The Dawn of Enlightenment.", before joining the band as a full-time member. He is also involved with Vomitron who also make their home at Metavania Music!). Meanwhile live drums as handled by Tom Vieira (ex-Frozen and ex-Soul Remnants) who is listed as a full-time member as well. Now, other then a 2004 demo version of "The Dawn of Enlightenment" (with, reportedly, programmed keys!) this is it as far as releases go for this 12 year old band. Of course that's not to say that the nine-track "Empyrean Realms", which clocks in at over fifty minutes in length!, isn't enough for this (nearly-teenage) U.S. metal act. With it's mixture of (melodic) power metal (which is both American and European in style!) and 80's U.S. traditional metal "Empyrean Realms" is everything that a sophomore release should be while simultaneously helping this Armory out by making a claim that they deserve to be noticed and noticed now! There are many key points that should end up helping that argument out. Among them is the pleasant discovery that this album, which again is over fifty minutes of premium power metal!, is filled with epic arrangements which have been carefully & lovingly constructed in order to give fans the best possible product that Armory can deliver! According to the promo material that accompanied the fine CD that I have in my hands, which comes with a professional booklet with pictures and song lyrics, the material on "Empyrean Realms" was worked on for several years and, having listened to this one now two times through, it's easy to see that these guys put a lot of time and thought into these nine-tracks! Here we find melodic power metal that is performed with near surgical precision by a convoy of musicians who have become artfully-skilled in the delivery of  (nearly-flawless) power metal. Self-produced by the band members themselves and issued on Joe Kurland's new created label, "Empyrean Realms" is a release that sounds clean, focused and as if it's ready to leap right out at you! While the fear may linger for some that this is nothing but performance-art that has sacrificed passion at the expense of playing technically-sound (but  god-awful boring!!!) Euro-style metal that simply isn't the case here. And believe you me no one is more thankful for that then I am! I love power metal, but the European variety can be a bit, eh, "fluffy"! For this act though there's just more to the picture. Melody is a keen ingredient here and there's simply no way of overlooking the technical achievements of a band like this. But, the sense of comforting melody present on the group's new album is simply another side of the coin for Armory. This is also an album that seems as if it's been super-charged by the Energy Bunny or something as the metallic-edge that this band has infused their material with is more then worthy of the title "power metal"! These guys are metal in heart and spirit even if it's sometimes hidden underneath some flashy keyboard arrangements! Something tells me that if this band keeps putting out material like this then people will have to stop what their doing and acknowledge just what Armory can and does bring to the scene.

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