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Armageddon - "Embrace The Mystery And Three" (CD)

Armageddon - "Embrace The Mystery And Three" CD cover image

"Embrace The Mystery And Three" track listing:

CD 1 "Embrace The Mystery" (47:45):
1. Awakening (0:38)
2. The Broken Spell (4:29)
3. Blind Fury (4:07)
4. Worlds Apart (3:06)
5. Cry Of Fate (5:07)
6. Illusions Tale (4:22)
7. Moongate Climber (2:45)
8. Embrace The Mystery (3:25)
9. Sleep Of Innocence (3:51)
10. Grain Of Sand (3:38)
11. Worlds Apart (Rehearsal) (3:03)
12. The Broken Spell (Rehearsal) (3:42)
13. Die With Your Boots On (Iron Maiden Cover) (5:33)

Reviewed by on March 25, 2010

"Both 'Embrace the Mystery' and 'Three' are great diversions for anyone who needs something a little more retro and less brutal in their metal rotation."

So it turns out there’s a band from Sweden called Armageddon that features an Amott brother, and somehow it isn’t even remotely connected to death metal. Back at the beginning of the decade the Chris half of the Amott team decided he needed a creative outlet outside of Arch Enemy and brought Armageddon to the world. Or more appropriately to Japan and some places in Europe. It’s only taken ten years, but now the last two albums in the band’s discography are available as a single set for those who didn’t get to check them out the first time around.

No one should expect either “Embrace the Mystery” or “Three” to sound anything like Arch Enemy, or to have the brutal intensity of any genre of extreme metal. Even though there are no growls or blast beats to be found, the album still lands more towards metal than hard rock, it’s just a very melodic brand of metal. The guitar work stays pretty consistently heavy, with only a few acoustic interludes and slower ballad type songs.

The “Embrace the Mystery” portion of the set has Rickard Bengtsson of Last Tribe using his higher pitched vocals, which almost takes the tracks into power metal. There are definitely visions of big hair and maybe even a hint of spandex, but the songs aren’t too over the top and stay grounded in solid musicianship. The first half of the release ends on a totally different note, however, with a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Die With Your Boots On.” The vocals get significantly lower and more aggressive, which is a nice change of pace before sliding into the “Three” album.

“Three” takes a note from more extreme forms of metal by having an intro track, except this one has nothing to do with evil atmosphere or folk instruments. The song gives a good idea of the mentality of the album when it becomes clear that the intro consists of a blazing guitar solo. This is Chris Amott’s band, and he’s going to shred, damn it!

The second half of the release also has Chris himself handling the vocal duties, and he has a noticeably lower and heavier set of pipes than the previous singer. He doesn’t let loose quite as much and there is a bit less power behind the lyrical delivery, but it still matches the music well and certainly gets the job done. “Three” alternates between showing off with guitar solos, some of which unfortunately fall into the trap of simply being fast scales, and having anthemic rock tracks about sticking it to the man. Either way it’s a head banging good time.

Both “Embrace the Mystery” and “Three” are great diversions for anyone who needs something a little more retro and less brutal in their metal rotation. The atmosphere is fun instead of brooding or angry, and the musical prowess is top notch.

Highs: Heavy enough to head bang to but still maintains a sense of fun.

Lows: Not all of the vocals have as much power as they need, and some of the guitar work really is just being showy for the sake of being showy.

Bottom line: A fun melodic side project from Chris Amott with lots of power metal trappings.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)