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Armonight - 'Suffering And Passion' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/22/10/01/1297_ArmornightSufferingAndPassion_1306521837.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 27, 2011    
 
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The simplistic writing style proves a sure-fire recipe for unremarkable filler.

As its brooding and ever so slightly clichéd title suggests, 'Suffering And Passion' contains all the essential ingredients for eyeliner-flecked, goth metal perfection. Having sparked glowing comparisons with genre titans Within Temptation and Tarja, these fledgling metallers are already causing quite a stir across the continent. 

But although the band's debut deals in a winning repertoire of honeyed female vocals, metal and maudlin piano, the sum of these trademark parts is riddled with various shortcomings. First and foremost, it's the sheer simplicity of Armonight's songwriting that makes for bland listening on several occasions. Setting a suitably extravagant tone, proceedings kick off with a keyboard-laden intro that outstays its welcome with an unnecessarily drawn-out instrumental section. The remaining bulk of the album reveals a similarly mid-paced and mild-mannered style which, although loaded with tension, lacks the explosive impact that's so sorely absent from 'Suffering…' Thankfully, 'Emotions' is an atmospheric exception to the rule, with crushing riffs enveloped in layer upon layer of delicate piano notes and sorrowful synths. And whatever Armonight may lack in instrumental terms, singer Sy proves an exceptional vocal talent, with expressive verses that rise and fall with effortless ease.

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Nevertheless, much of the album is undeniably tainted with repetition, thanks to heavy reliance on a very basic verse-chorus-verse formula. With only a couple of guitar solos thrown in almost as an afterthought, the resulting sound is slick but disappointingly unimaginative. So although it's impossible to pick fault with Armonight's technical expertise, the likes of 'Free Spirit' are unbearably predictable at times. Opening on a promisingly fiery string of driving guitars, it's not long before the track loses its initial lustre as each melody and vocal hook is repeated to excess. Though Armonight possess fine-tuned skill and finesse in spades, their simplistic writing style proves a sure-fire recipe for unremarkable filler.

Faye Coulman

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