Arma - Praetorian
Self Financed
Groovin' Thrash/Death
3 songs (9.22)
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Aleksie
The Finnish metal troupe known as Bloodpath recently changed their title to Arma and even more recently released their first promo, Praetorian. The musical mixture on the record in question is a hearty dash of thrashing attitude put through a death metal grinder with modern pinches thrown in.

The opening track Fire kicks things off with a speedy blast and some nice kick drum-tomtom-flurries. The riffage carries on with a pulsating mid-tempo thrash-rhythm and the neck muscles get a good jolt. Vocalist Roivas sounds powerful enough for the material with his rough growl, slightly reminiscent of the death metally-vocal mode of Chuck Billy, except slightly gruffier.

Hate is a much duller tune that doesn’t pick up the pace where a good opening left it. The jagged riffs don’t spin things into a necessary moshpit-vibe and the song feels stuck in its place. The guitar solo is quite nice, and rocking, which is the case with the guitar leads throughout the disc. The One is probably my favourite of the bunch, with a much more formidable groove. The quick pounding verses help, most likely, as the energy gets commendably high.

The production is on an OK level throughout, though some mentionable improvements could be made. The vocals get slightly buried on occasion, not horribly, but enough to make you think about it. The drums are a bit tinny, although strongly in balance. I’d say the treble end of things is too emphasized overall, which results in the slight weakness of skin sounds and – of course – the biggest sin a production can commit in my ears, the lack of head-crushing bass waves. Needs more bass!

Arma definitely has the technical means and direction to go for something very effective and brutalizing, but they still need to fine-tune their sound in order to make a genuine impact. I’d say that much more than anything concerning their own skills, their problem is the overflow of bands mixing death and thrash metal in various ways in the metal scene of today. Let’s hope the band can cut a niche that really stand out.

Killing Songs :
The One
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