A Swedish trio consisting of former members of Arch Enemy, this album kicks off with a great punk-cum-metal Motörhead riff as lead singer Johan Liiva sings more than growls on "Mountain of the Solar Eclipse." And perhaps its greatest asset is its old school metal sound, not the punishing and bland nu metal style. "Turncoat" is a rambunctious affair with a fine arrangement with throwaway lyrics and fleeting good moments, especially the Iron Maiden-esque bridge. A true nugget though is the pop/rock foundation on "Crops of Waste" despite the meaty metal chords. This is also found later on during an Iggy Pop monotone vocal on "Determination." Hearse hones this sound on "In Love and War," a track that seems to say more in less time thanks to guitarist Mattias Ljung turning in a Satriani-meets-Metallica performance. The band can also get its groove on during a brooding and deliberate blues metal delivery on "Ticket to Devastation," a brief but nice instrumental. The arena hard rock continues with "Cambodia," with its rat-a-tat-tat presentation and give and take vocals that recall Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell." One slight miscue is the change of pace within "Play Without Rules," consisting of brief moments of ambience with punishing hardcore and occasionally pleasing guitars.
Armageddon, Mon Amour Review
by Jason MacNeil