Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Armed - 2009 These Are Lights

Band : The Armed
Album : These Are Lights
Release Year : 2009
Genre : Mathcore / Chaotic / Experimental

Tracklist :
 1. Party At Pablo's
2. Kingbreaker
3. Hail Troglodon
4. As Centaurs
5. Buy A Snake
6. I Steal What I Want
7. Grand Party Frankenstein
8. Gave Up
9. Terrordactyl
10. Elephant
11. The Great Fatsby

When the chaotic and emotionally charged atmosphere from a hardcore album is blended together with the musical chops of metal just right, it will most likely result in something great. (Unless there was a major error during the writing process.) This great result being an alive, crushing, and altogether entertaining metalcore album. This combination gets even better when unique elements that aren’t usually found in hardcore or metal are added to the mix, because when this is done, it means no metalcore album that’s concocted will ever be in exactly the same vein. But remember what I said earlier, all of these things need to be blended together just right.

The Armed’s These Are Lights looks like a superb metalcore outing on paper. It has the technical but still tightly wound riffing, inspired and frantic vocals, and a fair amount of those fun unique elements. But rather than evenly blending all these things together, and letting each have their time to shine, the band layers them on top of each other, creating a very dense collection of songs.

Yes, the riffs are fun, and well-written for the most part, but they begin to become hard to distinguish from each other over the course of the album. And while the vocals are frantic, and while you can tell there is real inspiration and emotion behind them, they begin to grow dull as well, simply from a lack of variation. The only song that features clean vocals (which are very well done, and the album should’ve had more of) is “Gave Up,” and they’re still layered beneath a voice effect, reminiscent of a PA system, just like the single-toned yells the rest of the songs consist of. Along with these downfalls, pretty much every song does have its own unique trait that distinguishes itself from the other songs, but these traits are so buried beneath the songs’ other layers, they’re difficult to find, or remember, depending on the listener.

These Are Lights is loaded with fun, well-written riffs that unfortunately get lost in a haze of dissonance, along with the many other layers that stack up the album’s songs. The album contains a fair amount of interesting, unique elements that could’ve been a lot more interesting if they were more prevalent in the mix. And though I can hear real inspiration behind them, the vocals grow monotonous pretty quickly. Although it doesn’t make its way into your head or your heart, These Are Lights is still worth the listen to at the very least, make your ears perk up.


  1. Absolutely love your blog, amazing selection of great underground music :)