The Crimson Armada
Guardians

Apparently, Facedown Records didn’t have the budget to sign another Christian metalcore/deathcore act and Sumerian Records didn’t want another keyboard laced deathcore act on their roster, so Metal Blade swooped in and gave them a record deal, killing two birds with one very mediocre, clichéd stone.

Guardiansis the poster child for modern American deathcore/metalcore; except without the quality: a group of odd looking young kids plying a The Black Dahlia Murder backbone with vocalist with high screams and super lows growls, some shredding solos, breakdowns and a scattering of ‘atmospheric’ synths. The Christian approach may be new for Metal Blade, but even compared to Facedown’s average acts (For Today, A Plea For Purging, Wrench in the Works), The Crimson Armada come across as utterly contrived and needless, even in a scene full of contrivance and needlessness.

For the casual fan of the genre or even for a Christian Metal fans looking for a new band, The Crimson Armada might have some appeal, but as a writer who gets rather a lot of Christian metal and deathcore sent his way, I’ve heard everything on Guardiansbefore, and for the most part I’ve heard it better and with more conviction. Sure, some of the melodic, galloping riffs, arpeggios and solos (“Guardian”, “The Sound, The Flood, The Hour”, “The Final Words”) are solid but Woe of Tyrants did them better. Sure, the synths add some fitting grace to the songs (“Guardian”, “The Serpents Tongue”, “The Architect”), but Born of Osiris does it better. Sure, there are some stern breakdowns throughout (“The Sound, The Flood, The Hour”, “The the Eyes of God”), but Rose Funeral does it better. Sure, the lyrics and Christian theme mixed with brutal metal is vogue nowadays but Impending Doom, In the Midst of Lions and Earth From Above mixed them with far more memorable and impressive results. Even with the standout track “Revelations”, the whole effort, while technically competent just sounds cut and pasted.

I’m just not sure why Metal Blade saw this as a band or album they needed to sign, much like last years Anima release and even this Years Darkness Dynamite release, it just comes across sub par compared to their other releases. Especially in a year that saw the label release excellent efforts from Woe of Tyrants, As You Drown and Molotov Solution and even Job For a Cowboy. Yet the Lay Down Rotten album was a digital only release in the US and the new Vomitory doesn’t even get a US release date?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 27th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: vegard

    looks like the designer of the cover sent in a rough draft and the band used it as the final cover. makes me NOT want to check out the music at all.


  2. Commented by: krustster

    Lolol, I like this album a lot for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the speedy guitar parts or something. They play a typical style but for whatever reason it seems to have kind of a unique sound.


  3. Commented by: badboy

    rose funeral does not do anything better, or any anything remotely good for that matter.


  4. Commented by: Zac

    This is pretty much one of the most underrated and underappreciated albums of all time. It’s gotten sub-par reviews, but personally, I’d put the Crimson Armada at a more skilled and technical level even than the Black Dahlia murder. Except maybe their drumming.


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