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Celelalte Cuvinte - Armaghedon CD (album) cover

ARMAGHEDON

Celelalte Cuvinte

 

Heavy Prog

3.87 | 17 ratings

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Zarec
4 stars The history of the Romanian rock bands that were active before 1989 is a very interesting one and worth being told:how they managed to avoid the anti-cultural institutions, censorship and even appear on the national television channel. Celelalte Cuvinte is one of those musical groups that, along with Iris, focused on hard rock and heavy metal typical for the '80s. After the fall of the communist regime, in December 1989, a series of historical events and the fact that Romania wasn't used to the capitalist economical system led to strange musical trends, one of them being heavy metal, conditions in which Madonna's record sales were overtaken by the ones belonging to Obituary. It was this musical background in which Celelalte Cuvinte emerged with their best records that would be consider as priceless music in various metal sub genres that were sang in the Balkans and Romania.

1995 marked the release of "Armaghedon", Celelalte Cuvinte's third studio album. "Armaghedon" features a doom metal style, which is not as slow as doom metal generally is, but even goes as far as playing a thrash rhythm.

The opening track is entitled "Asa e viata mea" (That's how my life is), a classical heavy metal track very similar to Black Sabbath's style and at some points, to Candlemass's. It has a emphatic rhythm strongly marked by the bass, covered by thrashy guitars and epic vocals. This song is substantial for the entire record as it incorporates most of the musical ideas explored by the musicians. The lyrics reflect life's lack of sense by using inspiring metaphors.

The second track, "Lupii" (The Wolves), begins with a dark atmosphere created by Gothic keys. The depressive state of the song is subdued to thrash metal guitars used by bands such as Pantera. The excellence of this track is the way it it simultaneously dark and aggressive.

In my opinion, "Neam blestemat" (Damned Nation), is mostly a tribute to Candlemass's "Nightfall" due to it's intro, epic vocals and guitar solos. I'm not saying that Catalin Pop is as good as Leif Edling at playing the guitar, but the quality of the song is without doubt high. I find notable the keyboard solo similar to Dream Theater's style.

"Lumea de apoi" (The World Beyond) was, probably, composed as a harsh power metal song that was supposed to "thrash it all". Unfortunately, the production didn't help at all. It generally sounds good, but it could have been better. Anyway, the ending, called "Cor de copii" (Children Choir) is somehow funny although the text is as depressive at it gets.

The grand masterpiece of this record is the song "Armaghedon" (Armageddon) in which every instrument explodes in creativity, including the vocals in the ballad part. The Gothic keys create a apprehensive background that is spontaneously broken by a dirty bass solo, very similar to the ones played by Alex Webster (I am purely subjective so don't judge me at this point). The guitar solo is one of the best Romanian metal has to offer and the acoustic guitar that forms the ending of the song is very melancholic and meditative. Also, in the end, special effects are used in order to put a last depressive mark on the listener's ears.

Unlike "Armaghedon", "Balanta" is a fast played track, similar to "Lumea de apoi" only this time it is succeeded. There are no slow parts in this song only pure rough metal. The production is, once again, wrong: the bass is way louder than needed.

"Cel din Rasarit" (The One from the East) is, surprisingly, a fun track with intelligible rhythm and some nice guitar riffs. It has a remarkable refrain, as it is quite bombastic. A good song, but nothing special about it except the refrain.

The album ends with "Nu-i vina mea" (It's not my Fault) that is generally a rock ballad that features a strong background and candid vocals in the middle of which a guitar solo takes the listener into a ever relaxing musical journey. The final moments of the record contain one last very silent solo that leaves a great final artistic impression.

In conclusion, "Armaghedon" is a great album with many progressive rock influences and certainly original judging by the musical context of Romania in 1995. It is the first Romanian doom metal album, the next one would be released in 1998, by the band Gothic (I may be wrong but most likely I am not). I am very unsatisfied by the production, but sound engineers familiar to metal were very hard to find back then.

Zarec | 4/5 |

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