Armed For Apocalypse – Ritual Violence

Rolling in like a voracious tempest with sonic pestilence soaking every breath, Ritual Violence is the new album from ravening metallers ARMED FOR APOCALYPSE. An uncaged tumult of sound and discontent, the sludge bred beast is a merciless assault and incitement which with every second dares you to find and roar with equal enmity while under siege from the uncompromising Californian outfit’s finest and most striking engagement yet.

The band’s third full-length, Ritual Violence assaults and provokes from its very first breath. Every subsequent inhalation draws on discontent almost antipathy for the world around it, its senses blistering cauldron in turn exhaling a toxic and intoxicating tumult which provoked and ignited an instinctive uproar. In the words of ARMED FOR APOCALYPSE, “Ritual Violence was written in a time where everything seemed to be hopeless,“ adding ”…the album revolves around an overall theme of being stuck in an inescapable self-destructive rabbit hole, and the struggle to break free of those habits.” Fair to say, that the intimacy within the cyclone also found a connection with personal disputes as all the while hooking the imagination with its underlying and resourcefully inspired invention.

 Recorded with Kurt Ballou (Converge, High On Fire, Every Time I Die), Ritual Violence immediately defiles ears and air through Under My Shame, the opener rising upon a disruptive sonic lance of noise. The turbulence soon spreads as the song stretches its corrosive wiring and flexes its rhythmic discord, calmly but violently sharing ravenous menace. The vocals of Nate Burman are soon adding their throat scraping, animosity sharing threat while he and fellow guitarist Cayle Hunter weave an adventurous web of enterprise and tension.

Equally prowling and abusing the senses, it had ears and appetite rigorously sparked before the feral incursion of Frail bursts loose. With punk urgency and grievous intent in its onslaught, the track similarly hit the spot straight away; bruising it through the flying beats of drummer Nick Harris and Charlie Fischer’s predacious basslines. As with all tracks, twists bring unpredictable incursions and turns gripping lures and imagination, the following Full Of Phlegm swift confirmation. Deceitfully ponderous in its gait, the song courts and brings the darkest ravening; one forged from intoxication reaped guilt and shame. Within the predation though, the band casts genre stretching enterprise, striking twists within a tempestuous confrontation which becomes more psychotic as the landscape grows more mercurially inventive.

Hourglass soon had us swinging to its quarrelsome grooves, Burman’s flesh blistered delivery equally manipulative as too the corrosively dextrous exploits around him while Lifeless steams into ears with hardcore animosity with every breath given and taken devoured by the sharing of intimate and unbridled anguish. Again, striking expectation booted twists ignite greater involvement with the outstanding track’s proposals before Live Through The Storm proved just as dynamic and dissenting in its creative and physical deluge.

With SEPULTURA’s Andreas Kisser guesting, the outstanding Foredoomed stalked and accosted the senses with barbarous relish, its moment ear gripping and imagination stirring before Thieves Of Existence offered some respite through its melodic tempting and suggestive breath. It is a beginning and lure soon accentuated by the rolling rhythms of Harris, a coaxing leading the listener into its waiting smog of tension and argument which itself is a vehicle of resourceful dispute and emotive captivation.  

With Trevor Phipps from UNEARTH featuring, Suffer For A Living proves a carnivorous proposition; its ursine body and reptilian vines an invasive persuasion within carnally sprung tempestuousness. There is no escaping its consumption or the rabid and visceral hurricane of Flesh And Blood, another irresistible trespass from within Ritual Violence even as we lay broken in its wake.

 Completed by the predation drawn web of Eternally Broken, a final ear and imagination gripping moment of sonic and creative contention, Ritual Violence had us blissfully hungry to embrace its insatiate might and prowess immediately again. It has been a need which has not dissipated only grown with every listen to one of this year’s most debilitating and empowering encounters seeing Armed for Apocalypse forge a whole new level of impressiveness.  

Ritual Violence is out now via Candlelight Records; available through 

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2022

Copyright RingMaster Review

Categories: Album, Music

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