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March In Arms - March In Arms (Reissue)

March In Arms
March In Arms (Reissue)
by Kevin Burke at 16 December 2018, 9:28 PM

The South Dakota military assault of MARCH IN ARMS roars back with the reissue of their self-titled album, just to add a further depth to this masterwork of metal two further live-tracks of ear-splitting intensity is included for good measure. As the set stands it rocks with the raw dimensions of a thunderstorm, electrically charged and pulsing with every power-chord, “March In Arms” opens with the drones of “Procession Of The Dead” until the stuttering guitars electrifies the track, it pumps and staggers along beautifully into the more PANTERA waltz of “The Failure”.  The vocals of Ryan Knutson is a key to the band through the dense, but enjoyable guitar sound.

“Firebreather” and “Mouth of the Kracken” tick away loud with that enthralling sound of the band pumping as one metallic cannon firing, with this release these two tracks are the bonus live numbers, more incendiary than the studio run-throughs, it also gives you an insight into the tight live performance, by this account the band is an exceptional force of nature.

A wave of old-school detonates “Empty Pleads”, more harking back to the good old days of metal which sprang from the UK than America, that said they do sound like a ballsy version of METALLICA in certain moments. The drum-firing wall of noise which is “Ashes” gallops away with vigorous action throughout, MARCH OF ARMS never slow down on this album, there is no soft offering in the forest of well-honed sounds, indeed they manage not to fall into monotony quite well, each track is identifiable on its own merit.

 “I Am Death” is a monumental show of MARCH IN ARMS at their most deadly, the engine of this Sioux Falls war machine is rumbling constantly forward, Jon Parker and Sheldon Swan work extremely well together, they create a vibrant landscape of pleasure for the listener. Closing with “To No End”, a last wholesome blast of technique, through the album that solid rhythm section of Phil Meuller and Scott McGuire have kept the sound ticking over wonderfully, they are the right men hitting the right target, never becoming the lost under the mass of such prominent guitar work.

Throughout “March In Arms” there is a hint of something old, something borrowed but a highly enjoyable rampage of power nonetheless, the three-pronged guitar attack lends weight to the music, the styling is nothing new but the delivery is something to enjoy, hopefully the recognition which is due for this strong piece of work finally falls at the bands feet.

Songwriting; 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Procession of the Dead
2. The Failure
3. Firebreather
4. Mouth of the Kracken
5. Overlord
6. Empty Pleads
7. The Knife
8. Ashes
9. I Am Death
10. To No End
11. Firebreather (Live)*
12. Mouth of the Kracken (Live)*
Ryan Knutson - Vocals, Guitar
Jon Parker - Guitar
Sheldon Swan - Guitar
Phil Meuller - Drums
Scott McGuire - Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 01 February 2023

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