Who says that heavy has to be played on a seven or eight string guitar? Returning to defying this trend are Armed For Apocalypse, a four-piece from California who are creating a blisteringly heavy track on just six strings. Returning with their second album, The Road will End (Ironclad Recordings) grinds its way through 40 minutes of pure sludgecore destruction.
For hardcore sludge fans, this record may not quite be the booming, rolling wall of sound you can expect from the genre, although songs like ‘The Well’ and ‘The Road will End’ do churn out riffs with nuclear impact and precision. There’s a hefty dose of metalcore influences running through this record, picking up a crushing pace that causes to the record to trip and stumble headlong before hitting the brakes for the occasional devastating breakdown. There’s a delicate balance that is prevalent in this record, a shifting pace that creates the precise punctuation that really makes this record stand out.
Metalcore and sludge may not be the most obvious choice of ingredients considering their differences but the band seem to have mixed it in solidly. There really is very little I could fault this record on, but I also can’t say this record really appealed to me in any form. The album at points can feel a little like heavy for heavy’s sake and perhaps does lack a bit of the raw emotion that comes within the faults and the cracks. The modern day ideal has left us with squeaky-clean recordings and production, and this record has also fallen prey to our obsession with perfection. Lets hope that when the road ends, we’ll hear some real grime creeping back in for some all out dirty sludge.