Arma Gathas

Dead to This World

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Just as there are American metal bands that sound like they could be from Europe, there are European metal bands that sound like they could be from North America. The United States and Canada have their share of black metal and death metal bands with strong Scandinavian influences, as well as gothic metal bands with Italian influences; similarly, Europe has metalcore bands that get most of their inspiration from the North American side of the Atlantic Ocean. Arma Gathas is a prime example of the latter; this is a German band, but someone who heard Arma Gathas' debut album, Dead to This World, without knowing anything about the bandmembers' history could easily assume that this late-2009 recording is the work of Americans or Canadians. Arma Gathas' stomping, punk-drenched metalcore/alternative metal approach gets plenty of inspiration from American bands, including Pro-Pain, Hatebreed, Pantera, Slayer, and Machine Head. Another influence is Sepultura, whose founders are from Brazil, but even so, there is no getting around the fact that most of the influences on this 36-minute CD are North American. And while Dead to This World isn't the least bit groundbreaking, it is by no means dull. Loud, angry tracks such as "New Savior," "Constant Hunt for Blood," and "The Damage Done" don't bring anything new or different to metalcore, hardcore, or alt-metal, but they are infectious and played with conviction. You can call Arma Gathas derivative -- which they are -- and point out that they are less than distinctive, but you can't say that Dead to This World is uninspired. Dead to This World is a solid, if predictable, contribution to metalcore and alternative metal.

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