Project Armageddon – Departure   Leave a comment

There is a lot to be said for sticking to a formula for Doom Metal especially when the older ways seem to produce the bands and albums with the most longevity. Just like Briton Rites who released a album earlier this year full of classic melodies, classic riffs with a old-fashioned approach, Project Armageddon take the same path with their album titled “Departure”. Coming out of Houston, Texas usually means “great Doom Metal”, after all the outstanding quality of Doom Metal from there is only really matched from the glory days of the Maryland Doom/Stoner scene. This trio do use a well-worn formula but you cant mess with something as timeless as the musical approach that came from Saint Vitus, Pentagram and Black Sabbath but most important of all, Project Armageddon follow the blueprint closely but deliver a album of killer tunes that original or not – WORKS!! “Departure” is a classic metal album in the finest Traditional Doom Metal style. First reactions are always crucial and in the case of this disc, I yelled “where the hell has this band been hiding, this is awesome”. This trio who are all ex-members of Well of Souls are exceptional musicians who have a exquisite taste for strong melodies, powerful riffing and absorbing arrangements.

“Plague For Shattered Man” kicks the disc off with beefy guitar and a vocal style and sound straight out of 1972, so much so you could swear Blue Cheer’s Dickie Peterson has risen from the grave. Dok Hollada has one of those rare rock voices, common in the late 60’s/early 70’s but refreshing to hear in a modern band. The vocals are expressive, melodic, clean and full of emotional power and above all else – taste. The guitar style of Brandon Johnson sits somewhere in the middle between Scott “Wino” Weinrich and Leslie West of Mountain, you could say they have their influences zoned in and working at their full majestic potential. “Plague For Shattered Man” is a killer opening track that is almost too good for something new, this sounds like a classic, timeless heavy masterpiece that has been hiding for decades and Project Armageddon have finally brought it to life. “Psyko-Sonic” is a earthy, sinister track using bass and percussion to set up a bluesy but gloomy tune that builds in melodic atmosphere. Switching between quiet and loud parts, the song is always climbing and the vocals of Hollada are perfectly presented. The two part “The Reckoning Of Ages” is equally as mesmerizing, the first part is a )Planet Caravanish”) acoustic and drum instrumental piece while the second part is a heavy, crushing instrumental slab of melodic metal. Not a major highlight especially without the presence of the great vocals but still very listenable and kick-ass.

“Steward Of Shame” is a chugging metal rocker, not so much in the Doom Metal vein at first but more in the vibe of bands like Sinister Realm. It has a power metal feel for the first three minutes before shifting down into doom mode with Sabbathian grooves and crashing drums from Raymond Mathews (“Take a note to the uncanny similarity to Sabbath’s Wheels Of Confusion during one part of the riffage”). Its get even more doom infected before heading back to the stomping metal that began the track and this carries the tune till the mind-shattering ending, it is one hell of a great track. “Lament For The Leper King” is another instrumental with a lot of great twists and turns, great bass playing and more killer riffs but again where are the vocals, sorry to keep on going about the lack of voice but he is so good that tunes seem empty without him wailing. “Time’s Fortune” is within the realms of Cirith Ungol, I don’t know if anybody else will hear it this way but that is the first band I thought of while listening to this tune. It has a progressive edge and a almost mystical vibe, the guitar work is very impressive in this track especially the solo at 5 minutes in. The album ends with the short “Static Transmission” and the albums title track, the former is short but very sweet while “Departure” is another great Trad-Doom tune, ending what is a very concise and impressive album.

Along with Briton Rites, Project Armageddon have delivered a stunning slab of traditional Heavy Metal with its foundation firmly set in classic Doom Metal and 70’s melodic, bluesy Heavy Rock. This is a “must have” CD for the old-school doom fan and seekers of the timeless metal riff and melody. Essential. 9/10

Project Armageddon MySpace

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Posted August 23, 2010 by doommantia in Project Armageddon

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