Today we have here a debut album from a young band from Dobruska. The band is known as Armalion since 2005, but their roots go quite further. As far as the music they play today is concerned, it got its todays form right after they changed their name to Armalion and did some lineup shuffles. I don't want to pigeonhole right away, but I can hear some clear classical thrash elements based upon some typical American metalcore.
Now about the album itself: Right from the start the album cover made a very good impression. Graphically well done and fully corresponding with the album name. Maybe it was a bad thing in the end, because it made me expect quite much from the album, something unusual. That unfortunately didn't happen. I have to commend the musical base, it has a potential, but it;s not really my cup of beer. Nothing I wouldn't have heard previously, but nothing disturbing either. I do like the guitar work though. When I consider the age of the band members, Im really curious about their future musical direction. The drums are not really significant here, they just go in the background without any significant influence on the music. Maybe I'm too much of a distinguished listener, but I really miss some more complex passages. Moreover I have to confess that the vocals rather annoyed me. They don't fit in the music that well and it's the first time I would recommend a local band to use English for their lyrics, which is quite a thing for someone like me who enjoys his mother tongue in music. To compare the vocals to something, cross-breed Skwor and Alkehol and you get something in the vein of Armalion. The chorus from Slzy země was exceptionally annoying for example, although the rest of the music in this song was quite great to be honest, although the lyrics is quite stupid – ecological protest song wannabe. I actually consider it the weakest link of the album. Overally the lyrics are rather simple, but who needs some complex lyrics, noone really expects some poetical stuff, but somemetimes the lyrics are just too much of a cliche. They are quite angry and dark, but at times there is just too much dead bodies and living graves (like in the song Kral temna). If I had to choose the best songs it would be Lhar, Metal Hearts and Slzy země (but hard to say, the lyrics make me doubt).
Album Krok do neznama will not really disturb anyone, it's quite a good debud for a local band and I can honestly say that Armalion have the potential to gain some good responses from local fans, but definitely the next album will tell us whether they're up to it. The guys definitely made a step in the right direciton and if they hire some better vocalist, they'd definitely score more.