Armory - Empyrean realms 4.5/5

Reviewed: 12-1-13





Tracklist:

1. Eternal mind
2. Dreamstate
3. Beyong the horizon
4. Reflection divine
5. Horologium
6. Elements of creation
7. Inner sanctum
8. Fate seeker
9. Quest for the fleece


Back at the end of 2007 (and into the beginning of 2008) Massachusetts band Armory shocked me with their greatly-praised debut 'The dawn of enlightenment'. So it's been 6 years since we've heard from them, which is a shame, as they're a really talented bunch and we need more CDs from them. With this 2nd CD 'Empyrean realms', while I still hear similarities to the bands I listed as comparisons in my review for the debut (everything from Stratovarius to Iron Maiden), one band that has really jumped out at me with this CD is Black Majesty. They just seem to be similar in every way, which is a good thing, as Black Majesty is an excellent band. I also hear musical influences from keyboardist Pete Rutcho's side-project instrumental band Vomitron.

Vocalist Adam Kurland impressed me on the debut, and he perhaps sounds even better on this CD, or maybe he's just more comfortable. There's a lot of speed on this CD, which of course is extra pleasing, and there's actually not even one balled like there was on the debut. The production is absolutely tremendous, and the many guitar and keyboard solos make for an exciting listen from start to finish. Track 2 "Dreamstate" is definitely my favorite, as it's simply magnificent throughout its entirety. I also think the instrumental track 5 "Horologium" is killer, and it really reminds me of some of the better Vomitron songs.

Even though we waited a long time for this CD, it was definitely worth it, as power metal fans all over the world are sure to like all (or at least most) aspects of it. I personally like the debut just a bit more as my favorite song from the band thus far is on that CD ("Heart of dreams") and I think the choruses overall are just a little more memorable on the debut. That said, I suspect the majority of power metal fans will find this to be the better CD, and the fact is, both are truly amazing and I hope we don't have to wait another 6 years for the next CD.



CLINT




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