Brazilian band ARMORED DAWN was formed back in 2011, and released their debut album “Power of Warrior” a couple of years ago on French label Metallian. Come 2018 and the band returns with their second album, “Barbarians in Black”, this time opting for AFM as their label of choice.
Armored Dawn strikes me as a band with a certain nostalgic vibe to them. Musically they are, pretty much, what I would describe as a modern band seeking to explore the more conventional manners of heavy metal in an inclusive manner, but the way they go about it makes me think of the good, old metal scene from the mid 1980’s. There’s a certain macho atmosphere created, with liberal amounts of testosterone in the air.
We get free flowing, bouncy and hammering riffs and rhythms aplenty here, with a great deal of variation too. Gnarly riffs and hammering riffs, quirky instrument details, gentler interludes and atmospheric laden passages all have their place here, in a heavy metal going on power metal general manner. Careful keyboard details and symphonic backdrops are both used to good effect here and there, and the organ makes a brief visit for that classic metal majesty of riffs and organ combined.
Most of the songs tends to include either a singalong or an anthem style chorus, usually contrasting the verse parts by way of pace or intensity at some level, and the vocalist has a fine voice as long as he stays within the confines of his range too. Occasionally he comes across as subtly strained to my ears, but nothing at all major and most listeners will probably not even notice it.
For me this one is first and foremost a pleasant album. The songs, all short and concise, hammer and flow their way onward, at times with some elements demanding a bit more attention – was that folk music inspired guitar soloing placed back in the mix there – at other times with more of a pleasing, passing feel of the moods and atmospheres of yesteryear explored from a current and inclusive metal point of view. An album that is satisfying, but more often than not in a manner that makes me reach for any superlatives to describe it.
I suspect traditional heavy metal is at the core of this band’s sound, lightly flavored by power metal details, atmospheric laden insertions and elements from symphonic metal. All of which is combined and given a run through a Manowar tinged filter. An inviting and easy to enjoy brew, and while not one that manages to enthrall me I suspect this is a band that will come across as attractive to a fairly broad audience base.
My rating: 66/100
Beware Of The Dragon // Bloodstone // Men Of Odin // Chance To Live Again // Unbreakable // Eyes Behind The Crow // Sail Away // Gods Of Metal // Survivor // Barbarians In Black