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Armagedda - The Final War Approaching

The Final War Approaching
by Martin Knap at 22 April 2019, 7:17 PM

I have already noted in my review of the reissued gem “Ond Spiritism” that ARMAGEDDA would surely be much better known to the average Metal fan if they weren’t around only for a relatively short period of time. “The Final War Approaching” is their first full-length release that came out after releasing a demo that came out under the moniker VOLKERMORD (I’m not surprised that they’ve changed name, VOLKEMORD has a really NS ring to it), some splits and one EP. “Ond Spiritism” to me is their true masterpiece: it has all the qualities of “true” Black Metal, i.e. it is riff driven, savage and relentless, but they also added more sophistication to the songwriting and a kind of trippy, mystical vibe that inspired many Black Metal bands founded after the second wave of Black Metal heydays.

The Final War Approaching” doesn’t break the mold of second wave Black Metal – it is the typical raw, DARKTHRONE-inspired sound – but ARMAGEDDA were able to absolutely nail it. The songs are 100% driven by riffs, shifting between melodic and driving, groovy parts, sometimes there is a lead melody that introduces a new phrase, but then it’s straight back to riffing. The vocals sound super evil and abrasive, they are really very much “in your face” also from the mixing standpoint. “Deathminded” shifts between a DARKTHRONE-esque tremolo picked riff and a catchy groove. I really like how it combines the “ethereal” Black Metal vibes and more beefed-up, muscular riffs and grooves. Two-thirds into the song there is a slower section that is followed by an intense, furious finale. The title song (track number three) shifts between parts with an austere, buzzing riff and parts with an infectious groove. The song is a quick barn burner with just three different riffs, but it ends with a kind of melancholic lead melody, which completes the song nicely (I’m not a fan of the fade-outs on some of the songs on this album). “Skogens mörka djup” is slow an ominous song with just quick outbursts of aggression; there is a nice middle section with a driving, a bit folky riff that reminds me of TAAKE. The melancholic vibe of this song reminds me of the great things that would come on “Ond Spiritism”. “Undergång” has parts with a memorable melodic riff that has a kind of exalted vibe that contrasts with a primitive, almost Punk-like groove. The contrast is really stark, I’m not sure if I know any other band who would put a song together like that.

This album is raw, straightforward but not simplistic – the songs always develop in an interesting way and there is always some good musical idea to be found in them. To me this album is not as captivating as “Ond Spiritism” – it’s less imaginative for sure – but it’s still an excellent Black Metal album, that’s always great to revisit.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Deathminded
2. Sign of Evil
3. The Final War Approaching
4. Skogens mörka djup
5. Unholy Sacrifice
6. Undergång
7. Död & pina
8. My Eternal Journey

A Petterson - Guitars, Bass
Graav - Guitars, Vocals

Record Label: Nordvis Productions


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