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Armed for Apocalypse’s The Road Will End: Disaster Porn Done Right

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There seems to be a newfound joy in watching the world die. There were, what, nine films with an apocalyptic premise this year? (Side note: and since I just saw it, The World’s End… charming, no Shaun of the Dead.) Fact is, we enjoy annihilation. We dig disaster porn.

So, too, must Armed for Apocalypse, a “doom” (heh) metal tribe from Chico, CA that crafts a rather killer soundtrack for the end of days. Yes, there’s the moniker, the song titles like “Built to Kill” or “The Road Will End,” and lyrics like “it’s only a matter of time” or “when the world fucking crashes.” Or the band’s stated intent that they “vomited this heavy, disgusting thing that was growing in our guts for years.” Ominous, all, sure. A little icky, too. But also brutally powerful and even… a little nostalgic. It’s like if shit’s going down, AforA would prefer to take a step back and remember the good times.

Like: “Better Worlds,” which starts with a meaty riff and then builds into a Sepultura/Helmet hybrid that works because I said Sepultura and Helmet. For a band with built-in doom and gloom, there’s actually a nice variance at work here, both in style and tempo: the beginnings of “The Well” may suggest a Sabbath sludge, but it builds to a grandiose, almost artsy squall of guitars. And it’s followed by “Open Wound,” a big, fast-paced shout-a-long that switches gears mid-course, trudging back the doom-y tempos of its predecessor.

Slow, fast, punk, thrash, doom… it’s all in here, often at once. We may not know how the world ends, but at least, thanks to The Road Will End, we have an idea how it’ll sound (and if sounds anything like the 1:10 mark of AforA’s “Drawing a Line,” look the fuck out.)

Armed for Apocalypse’s The Road Will End is out now on Ironclad. Check out the track “Better Worlds” here and purchase the album here.

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