Like Florida and Sweden, Poland is a place steeped in extreme metal history with bands like Vader, Behemoth and, more recently, Decapitated, all proudly flying the flag for Polish extreme metal. It seems that death metal quartet Armagedon are another to add to that list as Thanatology, their new album, sees them dish up a meaty dose of death metal.
Right from the outset Thanatology sets you up for a promising listen with the obligatory disturbing intro giving way to some fairly standard euro-metal electronica before the whole thing descends into some vicious slamming death metal. From that point, Thanatology runs a suitably predictable path. Sitting more comfortably in the Vader school of death metal than the technical Decapitated side of things, Thanatology is played with the fury and brute-heaviness of a band who sound like seasoned veterans at this death metal thing.
Songs like “Cemeteries” and “Altar Of Death” are smashed out with the ferocity of mid ’90s Deicide. Unrelenting in their delivery, disturbing in their composition and simply unstoppable when they hit their groove, Thanatology may only be eight tracks long but, by the end of it, I guarantee the contents of your skull will be a bloody pulp.
On the downside, it has to be said that Thanatology may only appeal to a very limited audience ie. those who grew up before the digital age. Your typical modern extreme metal fan, unless weaned on a diet of “the older bands”, looks for throat tattoos and swept fringes when it comes to extreme metal these days so tracks like “Black Seed” may sadly fall on deaf ears. If that’s the case then it’s no bad thing, it just means that when us older fans talk about Polish death metal, we have another band to add to the list marked “recommended listening”.
04. Self Destruction
05. Altar Of Death
06. Black Seed
08. Tragic Journey
Run Time: 35:39
Release Date: October 4, 2013
Check out the song “Helix”