The Armed
These Are Lights


3.5
great

Review

by YetAnotherBrick USER (28 Reviews)
March 23rd, 2011 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although it doesn't exactly make its way into your head or your heart, These Are Lights is still a pretty fun time for your ears.

When the chaotic and emotionally charged atmosphere from a hardcore album is blended together with the musical chops of metal just right, it will most likely result in something great. (Unless there was a major error during the writing process.) This great result being an alive, crushing, and altogether entertaining metalcore album. This combination gets even better when unique elements that aren’t usually found in hardcore or metal are added to the mix, because when this is done, it means no metalcore album that’s concocted will ever be in exactly the same vein. But remember what I said earlier, all of these things need to be blended together just right.

The Armed’s These Are Lights looks like a superb metalcore outing on paper. It has the technical but still tightly wound riffing, inspired and frantic vocals, and a fair amount of those fun unique elements. But rather than evenly blending all these things together, and letting each have their time to shine, the band layers them on top of each other, creating a very dense collection of songs.

Yes, the riffs are fun, and well-written for the most part, but they begin to become hard to distinguish from each other over the course of the album. And while the vocals are frantic, and while you can tell there is real inspiration and emotion behind them, they begin to grow dull as well, simply from a lack of variation. The only song that features clean vocals (which are very well done, and the album should’ve had more of) is “Gave Up,” and they’re still layered beneath a voice effect, reminiscent of a PA system, just like the single-toned yells the rest of the songs consist of. Along with these downfalls, pretty much every song does have its own unique trait that distinguishes itself from the other songs, but these traits are so buried beneath the songs’ other layers, they’re difficult to find, or remember, depending on the listener.

But these aspects don’t bring the album down to the point of it not being entertaining at all. These Are Lights still has more than a few standout moments. “Buy A Snake” is an extremely well-structured song, and it features a great riff during the verses. Coming out of “I Steal What I Want,” a pretty interlude led by horns, “Grand Party Frankenstein” is fast, fun, and makes you wanna jump around. It’s led by a great, pure rock n’ roll verse riff, and it has a short, but sweet solo, too. And the album’s closer, “The Great Fatsby,” another very well-structured song, is heavy and ends the album nicely. But the one thing all these songs share, and perhaps the album’s biggest downfall, is that the songs are too short.

Aside from the songs’ layers of heavy dissonance and vocal effects already making it sound distant to the listener, the songs seeming to end right before they (could) get really good is the biggest reason why this album makes for merely a fun listen, rather than an enthralling journey. Every song, while overflowing with potential, seems to be only a blurb of what it could become. The songs flow together well, but they’re not linked together because few of the songs have a strong sense of closure that make you ready for, or make you expect the next track to begin. At times, it almost seems like each song was written on a completely different occasion, and for a completely different reason, with no regard to all of the songs being on the same album. This is why the album rarely makes you think or feel, and just makes you listen. (And maybe bang your head just a little bit, too.)

These Are Lights is loaded with fun, well-written riffs that unfortunately get lost in a haze of dissonance, along with the many other layers that stack up the album’s songs. The album contains a fair amount of interesting, unique elements that could’ve been a lot more interesting if they were more prevalent in the mix. And though I can hear real inspiration behind them, the vocals grow monotonous pretty quickly. Although it doesn’t make its way into your head or your heart, These Are Lights is still worth the listen to at the very least, make your ears perk up.

Recommended Songs:
Kingbreaker
Buy A Snake
I Steal What I Want
Grand Party Frankenstein
Gave Up



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user ratings (50)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
YetAnotherBrick
March 23rd 2011


4520 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Kind of reads like a 3...eh. It's a 3-3.5, you get the idea. lol :P

eternium
March 23rd 2011


16340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nah bro, this is the shit right here.

ButcheredChildren
March 23rd 2011


5590 Comments


I love this album and this band

Willie
Moderator
March 23rd 2011


16149 Comments


Good review. Metalcore could have been such an awesome genre, but somewhere along the way it took a giant shit.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

ffs
March 23rd 2011


4888 Comments


cool album

letsgofishing
March 23rd 2011


909 Comments


Yeah, this review seems to read a lot lower than a 3.5, and the first paragraph just doesn't work for me. Both in the fact
that it all could be said a lot better, and also that it heavily implies that the main problem with the album was that the
elements weren't "blended" correctly, which is contradicted later on when you say the main problem is the song length.


But with the exception of my bitching the rest of this review is pretty ace, so I'll throw you a POS.

YetAnotherBrick
March 23rd 2011


4520 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, it does imply that, but I never fully come out and say that the main part problem was the "blending." You're pretty much right, though. I'll keep that in mind in my future writing.
And thanks for the pos haha

YetAnotherBrick
March 23rd 2011


4520 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

*take out "part"

Kulti
March 24th 2011


72 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review

YetAnotherBrick
March 24th 2011


4520 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, dude.

MrGlass
March 26th 2011


326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with a lot of this review. but damn, the songs are so much fun, it doesn't need to be all that emotionally engaging. their new EP is awesome, by the way.

YetAnotherBrick
March 26th 2011


4520 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I've been meaning to check it out.

Thane
April 1st 2011


2182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

TERRORDACTYL

chesse13
April 17th 2011


4301 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Band is terribly underrated. Cant wait for their ne ep

RosaParks
August 5th 2011


15056 Comments


new ep is coming soon. So stoked.

Thane
February 2nd 2012


2182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

these guys are playing a show with Converge and Loma Prieta soon, great to see them going somewhere

EvilCashew
February 5th 2012


132 Comments


It's refreshing to hear someone actually do metalcore right as of late. Willie is right though, it's a damn shame it just kind of died off after it was hijacked by those damn scene kids. Luckily, that fad seems to be dieing off though. Thane, I'm really wanting to make it to that show. It's actually the reason I'm checking these guys out.

Thane
February 6th 2012


2182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I started following them around the time they released this, and they've just become better and better. Their last EP is fucking awesome.

Shame tours like those are pretty much US only =/

FearThyEvil
January 12th 2013


12785 Comments


Wow, Gave Up is a great cover.

Apollo
November 3rd 2013


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Saw the guitarist Chris playing in another band last night. My good friend is his boss in Windsor and we talked about music for a bit. Very good stuff.



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