Armory is billed as a speed metal band that comes from Sweden. The band put out a 4-track demo a couple of years ago, and has returned in 2015 with a second demo, entitled “S.M.I.”. Though the speed metal label is quite fitting, it would be equally fair to say that there is a lot of thrash in their sound. In other words, this demo comes from the darker and dirtier side of speed metal (think early Slayer rather than double-speed Iron Maiden). The production is rough, but the consistent buzzing of the guitars cuts through the mix. There is an overload of riffs, and pretty much all of them are high-charged, explosive affairs. This energetic approach works well when combined with the vocals. Armory’s singer embraces the raw approach of this music well; on the one hand, he uses a more melodic style most of the time, but on the other hand, his vocals really aren’t all that polished. That doesn’t mean that he can’t hit the notes, but more that his technique doesn’t sound all that refined. A good comparison would be to the singer of Deathrow (though Armory’s vocalist has a bit more range), who has a really solid voice, but doesn’t exactly sound like Bruce Dickinson.
Part of what keeps this record firmly planted in the speed metal territory is the use of melody. A song like “Alien Invasion” shows the band pulling off some great leads, alongside plenty of shreddy guitar solos, and the opening song "Blazing Lazers" has some wicked harmonized guitars that quite fittingly sound like blazing lazers. No matter how melodic the band gets, they never let up the energy. Even the latter parts of the aforementioned "Alien Invasion" are travelling at warp speed as Armory’s vocalist lets off some crazy-high wails. Regardless of how you categorize this demo, it is clearly an inspired release. It doesn’t really scratch the surface of being original, but it has more than enough enthusiasm to make up for that fact. While the rougher production actually does suit the band’s music, it would be very interesting to hear a tighter sound on their upcoming full-length.
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4.0/5 or 80%.
Written by Scott