Reviewed: May 2022
Released: 2022, Dying Victims Productions
Reviewer: Kieron Hayes
Armory would kindly like to invite you to beam on up and join them for a wild ride through the galaxy. And if you refuse, they might just abduct you and do it anyway.
Some bands are just really damn good at sticking to their theme and translating it musically. When you listen to some of Running Wild’s classics, it just feels like pirate metal, even without the titles and lyrics to hammer that home. Armory feel like they have that same talent when it comes to sci-fi. It’s not a new theme for the band, having been a clear focus since their debut full-length in 2016, and they clearly know what they’re doing. Every moment of Mercurion is just dripping with alien ooze, the timing and style feels like a perfect soundtrack for an odyssey through nebulas and wormholes, with Andersson wooping and crooning along from the captain’s seat.
Also similar to Running Wild (perhaps simply a great style for getting your passions across so directly), Armory are speed metal purveyors first and foremost. The emphasis is on ripping and flashy riffs from start to finish, always accompanied by equally manic vocals. Andersson’s delivery here is fantastic, and a perfect fit for the hyperdrive jaunts up and down the fretboard. It’s wild and crazy, but also capable of some very classic metal crooning that would do Angel Witch proud.
Many tracks, like “Deep Space Encounter” and “Void Prison” are frantic, rapid-fire chases through the stars, highlighting Armory’s comfort belting forward at top speed. “Transneptunic Flight” is just as much of a good time as its title. At times, as in “Journey Into Infinity”, there’s even something of a prog flashiness, reminiscent of the genre’s early days ala Fates Warning’s The Spectre Within. The entire album is a constant roaring, blasting and bouncing ride, always going at full tilt but never feeling out of control, just doing what they do best.
So strap in, my fellow sci-fi nerd metalheads, dive into the nearest black hole, and let’s see what mind-bending insanity the cosmos holds.