Album Review – Armagh / Venomous Frost MCD (2016)

Let the venomous and menacing frost of Extreme Metal generated by this young and restless four-piece act from Poland cover your body and dominate your soul.

Rating4

armagh_venomousfrost_coverGet the overpowering impact of metal music from the 80’s, the implacable and raging sound of the early days of Black and Thrash Metal the likes of Dissection, Bathory and Hellhammer, and four young musicians eager to show the world their passion for extreme music, and there you have the vigorous MCD entitled Venomous Frost, bred in the dark vaults of Warsaw, Poland by Blackened Thrash Metal horde Armagh. The band might be relatively new, being founded in 2012, and this MCD might be their first official release ever, but it feels like we’re dealing with an already established band so concise and potent the overall result is.

There is absolutely no (black) magic or any other special ingredients added to the music found in Venomous Frost, but pure Heavy Metal played by a newcomer quartet (actually, they’re now a power trio after the recent departure of guitarist Ace Hellion) that, above all things, knows exactly how to blend fury and melody in their compositions. Not only that, the old school album art, designed by Polish illustrator Robert A. von Ritter, who has already worked with bands such as Outre, Bloodthirst, In Twilight’s Embrace, and more recently with Ragehammer (featured in one of our latest reviews), is beyond precise in portraying the music by Armagh. Just hit play and you’ll find death, nihilism, war and occultism in Venomous Frost, all embraced by faultless Extreme Metal.

A demonic riff kicks off the excellent Criostail/Exmortis, which after an epic intro becomes brutal devastation blending the demonic aura of Black Metal with the always exciting turmoil generated by Thrash Metal. Moreover, Galin Soulreaper and Ace Hellion make an amazing guitar duo, with their riffs and solos transpiring ferocity and malignancy. Their devastation goes on in an old school Black Metal onslaught named Eternal Awareness, with drummer Bloodhammer sounding indeed like he’s using hammers to blast his beats. Put differently, you won’t have a single second to breathe in this high-octane chant of darkness.  And what can I say about Warbeast? They truly sound like beats unleashed from hell, blasting a vile Thrash Metal sounding enhanced by the obscure elements found in Black Metal. This newborn underground classic is perfect for some bestial circle pits and brutal headbanging, not to mention Galin’s spot-on hellish barks.

armagh_bandIn the epic Foggy Dew/Wehrwolf, you’ll be able to enjoy the best riffs of the album by far, with both Galin and Ace being absolutely on fire with their scorching instruments delivering excellent extreme music to us, while Bloodhammer and bassist Mark Usurper provide all the support needed in this exciting tune. Then we have Dark Procession, which in my opinion should be used as the soundtrack to any Satanist procession. This is the most Black Metal of all songs, especially its obscure riffs and growls, with the music slowing down a bit before all hell breaks loose and the band comes crushing again with their furious music, showcasing all band members in total sync.

The last seven minutes of the MCD are an ode to darkness, starting with Witchcraft, a fantastic cover version for Bathory’s 1984 classic. An enraged band blasts pure hatred in their excellent tribute to one of the most important bands in the history of Black Metal, with highlights to the desperate vocals by Galin and the kick-ass drumming by Bloodhammer, qualifying it to be one of the best covers of the year without a shadow of a doubt. And lastly, the title-track Venomous Frost is the icing on the (demonic) cake baked by this awesome Polish quartet, being slightly slower but as obscure and vicious as the rest of the album. In addition, I love how clear and heavy the bass lines by Mark and the drums by Bloodhammer sound throughout the entire song, helping conclude Venomous Frost on a high note and, as a consequence, keeping the flame of Polish metal more alive than ever.

More of the mischievous fusion of Black and Thrash Metal distilled by Armagh can be enjoyed at their Facebook page and YouTube channel, and their amazing debut MCD can be purchased at the official Third Eye Temple in two different versions: a regular jewel case CD limited to 100 copies or a black jewel case CD branded with serigraphy print. Let the venomous and menacing frost of extreme music generated by this young and restless four-piece act from Poland cover your entire body, and consequently dominate your soul. You won’t regret such an amazing experience in Black and Thrash Metal.

Best moments of the album: Warbeast, Foggy Dew/Wehrwolf and Witchcraft.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Third Eye Temple

Track listing
1. Criostail/Exmortis 5:40
2. Eternal Awareness 3:38
3. Warbeast 4:32
4. Foggy Dew/Wehrwolf 6:23
5. Dark Procession 4:59
6. Witchcraft (Bathory cover) 2:35
7. Venomous Frost 4:46

Band members
Galin Soulreaper – vocals, guitars
Ace Hellion* – guitars
Mark Usurper – bass
Bloodhammer – drums

*No longer part of the band.

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