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Armonight: Suffering And Passion

Like any genre that gains a little recognition, blink a few times and following the trail blazers come a whole host of copyists and bandwagon jumpers. In this case the trail blazers are the likes of Nightwish and Within Temptation and over the past few years the amount of bands trying to use their template of having a female vocalist singing over dramatic, overblown and often operatic themes has grown from a trickle, to a flood, with many if not most adding little of their own to the blueprint. So from that you will be able to tell that Armonight (sounds like a paint for protecting metal...) have a female singer in the shape of Sy, who actually has a most enjoyable vocal delivery. Thankfully she avoids the operatic pitfalls, instead concentrating on giving an assured performance, which is ably embellished by an extremely bright, sharp production. Musically Armonight do borrow the format from the usual sources in this genre, but to be fair, they also add a lighter, less metallic approach that is a welcome change from the normal bombast and bluster too often found in this music. In places the approach verges in being quite poppy, but in a manner which still gives credence to the songs and stops them from ever being disposable.

Guitarists Lara and Fjord give a fine account of themselves, both by mixing up the riffs with little motifs and also by knowing when to rein things in, but in truth the keyboards and piano (provided by Fjord he also plays bass and writes all the songs) lead most of the songs and the little piano breaks and patterns really do add an interesting and slightly different focus to the music. The down side of the less metallic attack from this band is that at times the album kind of floats by without leaving any real impression and things can become a little samey. However the arrangements are tight and well thought out and little touches like the wonderful double tracked vocals on opening track (obviously once the "atmospheric" intro has passed) "Past Shadows" hint that Armonight do have the ability to come up with some special moments. As debuts go, this is a solid effort that while far from the finished article, is much better than many of the recent additions to this genre.

Track Listing
1. Revenge
2. Past Shadows
3. Free Spirits
4. Emotions
5. Into My World
6. What We Were
7. Heaven's Below
8. Yellow Flowers
9. Crystal Tears
10. I Lost My Serenity

Added: March 27th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Armonight MySpace Page
Hits: 2975
Language: english

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