ARMORY - EMPYREAN REALMS (Metavania Music)
(Review by Stefan)
Massachusetts, USA based Power Metal band Armory knew to draw all my attention to themselves with their debut album “The Dawn Of Enlightenment”, a brilliant album that showed how Power Metal had to sound. AS US Power Metal defender myself, DOE filled in all my expectations, yet I must also mention that European Metal influences were present throughout the entire album. The potential value of this product was at a high level and inevitable sequel to this release had to come sooner or later. Six years after the release of their debut, I am very proud to present to you the new Armory record entitled “Empyrean Realms”, released by guitarist/drummer Joe Kurland’s new label Metavania Music. Keyboardist Peter Rutcho’s solo band named Vomitron released their album “NES For The Wicked” through this company as well. I remember Vomitron as a very unique band who plays only instrumental cover songs of original NES video game music, all in a pure Metal mode.
Loaded with nine songs, “Empyrean Realms” was again produced, mastered, engineered and mixed by themselves. On their first album, Armory have proven that they can handle this job easily… the sound quality was real good. As for the new album I have to admit that Armory exceeds all my expectations, they really do! The complete production of their new album is among the absolute top - detailed perfection is nearby. Loud and clear, nothings seems to be exaggerated… very professional done, great job guys ! The cover reflects a nice looking, celestial artwork created by UK artist Gary Tonge… the entire booklet contains multiple pages of full coloured individual & band pictures, lyrics, … again very professionally done! With lyrical topics like metaphysics, cosmology and epic stories mainly, Armory just delivered a great album which is, in quality terms, equivalent to the greatest and most promising Power Metal outputs at the moment.
“Empyrean Realms” runs for about 50 minutes, no weak moments to detect… Armory’s new album is more dynamic than ever before. The structure of each one of the songs knows no boundaries, I repeat myself that these guys’ have become an absolute top act in the world of Power Metal. Full technical and melodic with a slightly progressive touch, even the fact they’re an American band, this is an album that deserves to breakthrough in Europe as well. Hereby I immediately like to make an appeal to anyone who is attracted to Power Metal, go to their official homepage and start purchasing this silver shining top notch disc!
The vocals of Adam Kurland still impress me, clear as crystal, still done with a lot of energy and power. You will hear his brother Joe on the album delivering superb skill charged guitar moves – on the album, he also takes the drum parts for his account. The brothers Kurland: an inseparable duo with a high content of Metal in their blood. As for live performances, Armory recruited Tom Vieira. About the remaining band members I can only respond enthusiast, especially second axeman Chad Fisher’s vitriolic guitar tactics and bassist Thomas Preziosi’s unrelenting moves have appealed to my imagination.
Opener ‘Eternal Mind’ starts with a great riff and a whirling high pitched vocal line, what follows is an example which includes the term melodic Power Metal in all its glory. Next ‘Dreamstate’ was manufactured with a firm dose of Euro Power Metal influences, along with a catchy chorus and a whole of technical abilities coming from all of the musicians delivering as always, the best of the best. ‘Reflection Divine’ can be considered as one of my favourite ones, less keyboard parts in promotion and thus, the guitars gain more space to impress me even more with beautiful techniques. An instrumental composition like ‘Horologium’ can only be achieved by a band who is in supreme condition, next highlight in line! ‘Elements Of Creation’ is another personal fave due to the constant rhythm changes able to please my eardrums. Feels really good to hear the combined forces of both European and American Power Metal, great shot anyway! ‘Fake Seeker’ and ‘Quest For The Fleece’ may close Armory’s new album “Empyrean Realms” in a very dignified way!
You will not catch these guys on musical shortcomings, don’t even try to think about it. They have grown tremendously on all musical areas, this is Power Metal to the masses… made by a US act but ready to conquer Europe as well. Fanatical followers of Power Metal scene in the vein of Riot, Firewind, Wardrum, Gamma Ray, Metalium, Symphony X and stuff… order Armory’s “Empyrean Realms” on the double at: www.armorymetal.com . Feel free to visit the band via FB at: www.facebook.com/armorymetal.
My Points: 90 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish