Armageddon - The Money Mask (Retroactive)

Published Tuesday 12th March 2019
Armageddon - The Money Mask (Retroactive)
Armageddon - The Money Mask (Retroactive)

STYLE: Hard Music
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 170347-26820
LABEL: Retroactive
FORMAT: Digital Only Album
RELEASE DATE: 2018-06-10

Reviewed by Andy Shaw

Armageddon (USA) are a metal band from Falls Church, Virginia, not to be confused with their namesakes from the UK and Sweden. Having released a number of demos under the name Second Chance, their debut studio album 'The Money Mask' was originally released in 1989 only receiving a limited distribution through Talkingtown Records that soon went out of print. The band kept performing but no further albums were released and they disbanded in 2005. Interest was renewed when that debut album was dusted off, remastered and re-issued by Retroactive Records initially on CD in 2007 with a vinyl re-issue following in 2018. Given the low-key way in which the album was recorded and released, I did not have high expectations for the production quality. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found with this remastered version presenting an approach that doesn't sound dated and stands up against some of the best of their contemporaries drawing comparisons with the likes of Judas Priest. All the ingredients are as you would expect from a classic '80s metal album with big riffs, technical guitar solos, expansive drums and solid driving bass lines. There are many flavours of metal and it is hard to pin this album down to just one with a definite taste of glam, thrash and power interspersed with some more melodic moments thrown in as a palette cleanser. Throughout there is a no-nonsense, no frills approach whether it's pummelling you with a barrage of guitars, drums and bass on "The Money Mask" or providing a more ambient moment on the ballad "The Ship Of Changes". This range of tempo and intensity shows off the impressive versatility of vocalist Mike Vance and the technical ability of the rest of the band. There are a couple of mid-tempo tracks such as "Giving It To You" that don't quite hit the mark, lacking the emotion of the more melodic ballads and lacking any pace and intensity. "We're Outa' Here" closes the album at breakneck speed leaving you on a high and providing a fine example of the technical ability throughout the band. For the many who missed them the first time round, it is well worth checking out this album if you like the classic metal sound and as the band have reformed and are performing and recording once again, keep an eye on more new music to come.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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