Hearse – Armageddon, Mon Amour

Despite Hearse’s claims of being a “Swedish melodic death metal” band, there’s a hell of a lot more to them than that. During my first listen to Armageddon, Mon Amour, the sophomore offering from the band, I also heard a lot of Gorefest, Entombed, and good old-fashioned thrash thrown in the mix for good measure as well.

Don’t get me wrong; I can see where the melodic death metal comparisons come from. “Mountain of the Solar Eclipse”, the opening track of the disc, is filled with double bass and death-like single stringed riffs. But when the solos kick in, the track takes a serious turn toward the thrash metal genre. And that’s really the basis of this CD — 11 kick ass heavy tunes with a death metal sound and vocals combined with thrashy riffs. The songs have so many little parts and influences that it would be hard for me to classify this as anything but simply “heavy”.

Johan Liiva (ex-Arch Enemy) delivers his patented gravelly howls constantly throughout the disc which probably adds to the death metal comparisons. Listen to Liiva’s performance, and you’ll realize what so many other bands have been trying to do over the years. In fact,the whole album’s like this — it’s simply a guide on what to do “right” for so many other bands who have failed trying. The vocals are just one of the great performances on the disc. A couple of minutes into “Crops of Waste” there’s a breakdown that will show you just how tight these guys really are. Tracks like “Cambodia” and “Tool” show off the band as a whole.

I haven’t written much this week for the simple fact that I’ve had Hearse’s Armageddon, Mon Amour stuck in my car CD player for the past several days. Hearse hasn’t tried to reinvent the wheel; rather, they’ve taken classic metal influences and combined them rather perfectly into something new.

01. Mountain Of The Solar Eclipse
02. Turncoat
03. Crops Of Waste
04. In Love And War
05. Ticket To Devastation
06. Tools
07. Cambodia
08. Sodi
09. Play Without Rules
10. Determination
11. Armageddon, Mon Amour

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