Armnatt hail from Portugal and are now signed to Signal Rex. This partnership brings the re-issue of Armnatt’s debut – “Darkness Times”. A good portion of Signal Rex’s bands play Black Metal and are from Portugal, Armnatt is right at home here.
The band adopts a minimalist raw Black Metal approach – drums, guitars, bass (yes, audible bass), and ferocious rasps. There is no time to catch your breath, no pensive meditative passages, no virtuosity displays, just a relentlessly forward sensory assault. The linear nature of the riffs give these compositions an “always forward” nature that is effective, conjuring visions of hurried creatures eager to battle – the urgency and ugliness of chaos and noise. The guitars carry a hypnotic, trance-like quality to “Darkness Times”, however they hang back in the mix, while the drums are front and centre. The cymbals and vocals are most prominent and this allows the listener to observe the juxtaposition of the hypnotic numbness and apathetic feeling with the chaotic ferocious drive.
After a short intro we’re greeted with a pounding linear riff, not long after, drums join the cold notes giving the song a tribal ritualistic feeling. However, this mid-paced tempo is short lived and gives way to violent blasts to accompany the cold ripping sounds surrounding the tortured howls emanating from this sonic ritual. This is a short release, 10 songs in less than 30 minutes, which is effective for the work presented here. The title track offers memorable riffs and some variation, “Putrified” Ashes has some loose moments that show the importance of the drumming in these songs, and “From The Depths” employ simple effective riffs that are borderline catchy. (International Acrobat)