Review Summary: Arma Gathas present us a damn solid debut record which sounds like a well-done mix between Divine Heresy and Meshuggah
Divine Heresy’s last endeavour Bringer of Plagues
was a true flop of an album. Run-of-the-mill vocal performance, extreme repetition, overdone drumming, overly lengthy songs – all of that was represented on Bringer of Plagues
. Now, you might be asking yourself: "Why is this dude talking about Divine Heresy in an Arma Gathas review?". The answer – Dead To This World
is an album that sounds like a well-done mix between Divine Heresy and Meshuggah, and is pretty much what Bringer of Plagues
should’ve been (and other albums in the same vein should be).
Arma Gathas are a brand new modern metal act hailing from Germany. Their style is a common mix between metal and metalcore, leaning towards one or the other depending on the track. They take the chugging guitar work of acts like Meshuggah, couple it with a chaotic theme, and to wrap it up, add shouted hardcore vocals to complete their sound. What makes these guys stand out amongst their peers though is how they’ve reduced the mechanical feel of the music, yet have the apocalyptic theme pumping on all cylinders. The riffs sound surprisingly natural and even have a slight thrash tinge to them at times, while vocalist Che Snelting manages to sound inspired and robust, delivering a profound vocal performance.
There is one potential setback to the album though: the brand of metal Arma Gathas play is already somewhat repetitive in its core, so listeners who do not appreciate a good chugfest should stay away. The band do try to mix it up by adding solos and semi-atmospheric interludes here and there, while also making good use of subtle industrial undertones, but the chugging is domineering nevertheless. Much like Meshuggah, Arma Gathas are enjoyable in small doses, but become a bit tiring when listened to back-to-back too much.
Dead To This World
is a solid slab of modern metal from Arma Gathas. Sure, the band members are hardly new to the music scene, but it’s never easy to craft a coherent debut album. When put up against similar acts like Divine Heresy and Arkaea, Arma Gathas are superior in every way - more varied, more structured and most importantly, more interesting. In the end though, Dead To This World
is just a good metal album, and that’s all there is to it.