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Armored Dawn: Barbarians in Black

From Sao Paulo, Brazil comes power metal act Armored Dawn, who are unleashing their sophomore album on AFM Records, titled Barbarians in Black. These guys are obviously big fans of the European power metal scene, as their new album is loaded with all the characteristics we've come to expect from releases in this style, such as the fist pumping choruses, the chugging riffs, the keyboard embellishments, the speedy drumming, and the war/fantasy themed lyrical content. Vocalist Eduardo Parras has somewhat of a mid-ranged delivery, so he's neither over the top histrionic nor gravelly, but he's competent enough to handle things here, plus the amount of well placed backing vocals really help flesh the sound out. For the most part, these songs are made or broken based on the success of the arrangements, and we have a few good ones here. "Men of Odin" is a sweeping, mid-tempo anthem, the chorus engaging and just enough synths sweeting up the riffs, while the snarling "Unbreakable" picks up the pace, the riffs menacing and the melodies quite memorable. "Eyes Behind the Crow" also works quite well, packed with some serious guitar firepower and intricate drumming for a formula that will please any power metal fan. "Gods of Metal" might just be the heaviest tune here, complete with rampaging rhythms and some tumultuous riffing, a safe bet for any Sabaton or Blind Guardian follower.

That being said, there's also a fair amount of cheese here, such as "Beware of the Dragon", the sappy "Survivor", and the limp "Sail Away". Some will probably say that there's a slight 'generic' feel to the album, but I don't know if we can fault the band on that as many acts who toil in the power metal realm tend to fall into that trap. Also, Parras' vocals, while decent enough, just don't stand out at all, and that seems to be the overall problem with Barbarians in Black; there's nothing that screams 'essential' here, Armored Dawn basically coming across as a solid band but they haven't brought anything to the table that we haven't already heard before. If you are ok with that, this will be a fun listen.

Track Listing
1. Beware of the Dragon
2. Bloodstone
3. Men of Odin
4. Chance to Live Again
5. Unbreakable
6. Eyes Behind the Crow
7. Sail Away
8. Gods of Metal
9. Survivor
10. Barbarians in Black

Added: February 19th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 911
Language: english

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