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WLM Reviews: Scars of Armageddon – Dead End

December 2, 2017

Here is a band you may not be familiar with unless you’re in the Chicago area. Scars of Armageddon is a band I knew about before this release hit my inbox, having seen them a couple of times during my time in the Midwest.

SOA delivers a type of Power Metal infused with a bit of Thrash every now and then, as well as a hint of an Iron Maiden influence. Seeing a band live without familiarity with their work can be forgettable or memorable. Though I don’t really remember any of the specific songs I heard SOA play, I do remember the style and have an appreciation for this hard working band.

On Dead End (Pure Steel Promotion), Scars of Armageddon is focused and tight, playing their music with conviction. The album puts on display the band’s excellent musical abilities and mostly memorable songwriting. I do find myself humming some of the songs hours after last hearing them, usually a good sign.

The first several songs, the title track, Lockdown, and Wasteland blast out of the gate like a mad dog unleashed, save for the Jag Panzer-ish chorus of the middle track. Singer David Kraus is fantastic in his mid-range and bearable when he hits the high notes (my preference is obvious). Elf Revolution seems to be lyrically out of character for SOA, but musically, the variation of the mid-paced verse, the placid instrumental interlude, and the full speed ahead sing-alongable chorus make for a great all around song. A definite highlight for me. The first half of Dead End winds up with Turns to Gray, the defacto ballad of the album. Decent enough with a degree of heaviness as well as some upbeat passages and Maidenish guitar work.

A Good Day to Die takes a stab at epicness, coming quite close. There is a whole lot to like about this track, from the excellent and blistering guitar work, to Kraus’ vocals, to the all around heavy feel. Right there with Elf Revolution in likability. A traditional Power Metal track follows in Endless Horizon – something along the lines of Helloween. Once again, the SOA guitar duo shows some pyrotechnics up and down the fretboard – blazing fast. After the relatively mundane What Lurks Beneath comes the song Scars of Armageddon, an alternatively galloping romp and pounding epic Metal track. Absolutely a top 3 track on Dead End. Wrapping up the cause is Fatal Impact, a song with a melancholy undercurrent and sections that completely destroy. It’s a bit inconsistent, but not distractingly so.

I liked SOA when I saw them live and I like what they’ve done here on their second full length.  Dead End is clearly not one for this band.  Definitely some good things in future for them.

I hear the sound in a Metal way.

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