EP REVIEW: Armored Theory - Armored Theory (EP)
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Armored Theory
EP: Armored Theory (4 song EP)
Label: Independent Artist
Heavy Metal, Gothic Rock, Hard Rock
Armored Theory is an American hard rock/heavy metal band from Norfolk, Virginia, formed in 2010. Founding members 'Johnny-5' Roorda and Billy 'ElyMonster' formed to perform in a talent show for the military. While auditioning, they met a drummer, Dave 'Rodd' who wanted to play with them. The trio swept the talent show even though the crowd was non-metal and non-rock. Deciding that the band needed to keep moving forward they recruited a bassist, 'Hot Damn' Hatley and started writing original material. 'Hot Damn' Hatley was later replaced by Rocky Lamb and the four began touring to support their upcoming release 'A Fact You Can't Deny'. Band members include: Billy 'Ely Monster' - Vocals, 'Johnny-5' Roorda - Guitar, Rocky Lamb - Bass, Dave 'Rodd' Alvarado - Drums
The EP methodically takes of with apocalyptic ”Epic.” This prelude sets the stage rather way for this catalogue of music with its thrashing rock rhythm, thunderous guitar chords and catchy metal core delivery. Track 2 "Ockham’s Messer” delivers more of the same raw intensity that slams your ears into submission with its thought provoking lyrical content, impressive vocal harmonies and overall apocalyptic melody. The CD doesn’t let up Track 3 my personal favorite “Gingerbread Man” hits hard and whips you mental state around like a wild tornado, with melodic guitar and dynamic vocal intensity Ely. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Danzig, Type O’ Negative, Fields of the Nephilim, and Poisonblack. I will add that this is one band that has carved out a unique nice for themselves within their unique fusion of sound. The music has everything you would expect from a high octane metal CD but sounds fresh and new. The musical style refuses to be pinned into submission. The vocals are gritty and are deep in your grill, the guitar playing is hot to the touch, and some of the theatrical production touches are borderline brilliant. The songs themselves are reckless, progressive and packed to the hilt with raw intensity and lyrical content straight from the crypt keeper. Ely’s vocal style works well with respect to this style of music with its stereotypical jagged edge delivery. What I like most about the music is its rock solid consistency and live fell almost as if your watching a band perform live. Like a heavy weight boxer the songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. The EP ends with track 4 “The Dead Man’s Hand” the perfect finale statements for a CD of this caliber.
The biggest problem with the EP is not the band, not the music, not the performances - it’s the engineering aspect of it all. The overall production quality (recording, mixing, mastering) seems to be somewhat erratic, amateurish, and lackluster. More specifically there is lack of solid low end frequency throughout. This is especially true when played on high–end stereo systems. It takes engineering savvy to record, mix, and master a musical production to industry standards these days. There is no barcode on the flipside on the CD indicating a retail non-compatibility. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I also typically deduct 1 star for EP releases. The full length release is a more complete snapshot to judge an artist by.
The latest EP from Armored Theory is a solid and consistent musical teaser from start to finish. Its strength – the impressive "live' vibe, and dark intensity that keeps coming at you song for song. The messages are dark, though provoking, intense and may cause your ears and brain to explode.