Armory - The Dawn Of Enlightenment (independent) 2007
1. "The Tempest"
OK, I have to admit that I had this CD for a long, long time before I decided to finally write something about it. The fact is, I was totally unfamiliar with this band upon receiving it in the mail. While I love heavy metal, I've grown a bit weary of all these wanky, overly-technical, keyboard drenched, happy, progressive bands singing tales of dungeons and dragons and labeling themselves "metal". On my first spin of this CD, I worried that Armory would be one of those band. Indeed the CD does open up with a lush sounding keyboard instrumental title "The Tempest," that made me cringe at first. "Oh man, not another one." With song titles like "Warrior Forlorn" and "Forged in Dragon Flames", I already didn't have my hopes up too high. However, with "Faith in Steel" my worry disappeared as the band galloped along in a true heavy metal fashion. Yes, now this is more like it! Fist in the air, head banging, fist pumping heavy metal! Fans of Hammerfall, Steel Attack, early Nocturnal Rites, etc. will rejoice in yet another band to add to their ranks. "Riding The Cosmic Winds" continues with the real metal and is one of the strongest tracks on the disc. This song offers a dark, heavy guitar tone and some wicked drum work. "Forever Triumphant" is a keyboard-laced power ballad with one of those fun, anthemic, sing-along chorus and some classic metal soloing from guitarist Chad Fisher. Some metal fans may frown upon the "ballad" but the best bands have always done ballads. Judas Priest have written some of the greatest ballads ever and they are the very definition of heavy metal, in my opinion. Armory's ballad is not different, although I wouldn't put it on the same level as "Beyond the Realms of Death" or "Before the Dawn". "Forged in Dragon Flames" is a progressive instrumental, but not overblown or out of place on this album. It wasn't until the album title track that began to lose interest slightly. The nearly fourteen minute track is quite lengthy and a bit overblown, although not terribly so. Ahhhh, but up next we have what any true heavy metal band must have in this time and age, an Iron Maiden cover! Yes, and a fine cover at that. Armory take some liberties with "Flight of Icarus", but it works well for them. Lastly is a song that I suppose is a bit of a joke. I had to do some research to figure out what this cover was. apparently it is a a cover of a Nintendo video game called MegaMan. OK, not being a gammer myself, I had no idea. Cool song though.
"The Dawn Of Enlightenment was originally released in 2004. This new version was completely re-recorded. Not having heard the original version it's hard for me to say if it's better or worse than the original. I'll just have to assume it's better with the growth of the band and better recording techniques.