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Armour - Armour (CD)

by Grigoris Chronis at 22 December 2009, 10:39 AM

Filthy hardhittin' Heavy Metal made (mostly) in North America, performed by a Finnish gang of Black Metal worshipers. Hell's gone crazy? World gone mad? Things are not as weird as possibly assumed. While VENOM, BATHORY, HELLHAMMER or MERCYFUL FATE share credits for the birth of Black Metal music, a respected amount of credit goes to 70s KISS, early W.A.S.P. and MOTLEY CRUE or even THOR since their extreme - for those times - behavior, vocal lines and performance gave samples of depravity for various blacksters's bands worldwide. Bands like ARMOUR turn the cross upside down (OZ rulez!) and, yes, it was not only BEWITCHED paying tribute to the 'hot' side of classic heavy Metal, after all…
I bought a couple of ARMOUR releases two years ago on vinyl: The Sonichouse Tapes and Blitzkrieg Warrior did make a good impression and the band's aura stuck in my mind, after reading Vince Venom was a devoted 80s Metal maniac while performing with no less than a dozen of Black/Death/extreme Metal bands, with PEST, VOMITFAGO and SATANIC WARMASTER being possible familiar names in the circuit. Nonetheless, what was hopefully seen as a tendency in the band's previous discography, which includes a good number of demo and single releases (as the Underground commands), is now a reality in Armour, the band's official debut.
To analyze the album's style a little bit more, let's add that apart from the previously mentioned influence, ARMOUR flirts with the speedy side of NWOBHM too while not avoiding honoring some cult Scandinavian Metal names of the 80s (like OZ, of course, but you figure it out first, haha). The production is out of the 80s, the style is 80s Metal with no 'power', 'epic' or 'doom' extensions: the vocals are based on Blackie Lawless' or Ron Keel's or Jon Mikl Thor's spite, with enough of a raw attitude and rage. Quite heavy for classic metalheads or soft enough for extreme metallers is not the case here, since the mix of vocals and music sums it up to a very good and honest 'only Metal' old-school album that either way is for fans of the 80s and only. If anyone has, for example, purchased CAULDRON's Chained to The Nite album recently, let's say that ARMOUR is a more malicious sample, though they stay away from the occult of IN SOLITUDE while having few in common with the non-stop pace of ENFORCER. It's more glamorous, too, bearing in mind we're talkin' 'bout the dark/early steps of some American bands (RATT, KEEL, CINDERELLA). And, to let all this end…
Armour is an album you'll fancy if willing to spend 40 minutes with good ol' hardrockin' Metal pieces. Listen the samples on the band's MySpace and decide for yourselves, but I think if albums like Shout At The Devil, The Last Command, Fire In The Brain and Love Gun are selected parts in your record collection you'll find no bad moments in this piece if music. Denim, leather, no swords but the Metal way of life are gathered in here.

P.S.: If Udo Dirkschneider and Blackie Lawless would have a bastard son, his name would be Vince Venom, is quoted in their MySpace page.

3 Star Rating

Rock'n'Roll Tonite
The Time Is Right
Sex Demon
Roll Out (Or Get Rocked)
Satan's Knights
Can't Resist Your Spell
Magick Armour
Ready To Attack
Heavy Metal Drinkers
Vince Venom - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Pete Talker - Bass Guitar
Mike H.C. Slutz - Lead Guitar
John Keu - Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Primitive Reaction


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