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Review: Armory - The Dawn of Enlightenment
The Dawn of Enlightenment

Label: Independent
Year released: 2007
Duration: 69:48
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: August 23, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 3.69/5 (73.75%) (32 Votes)

It is a damn tough assignment, playing Power Metal in the United States in 2009. Yet that is the road that Massachusetts' Armory has decided to go down. They've taken a ton of both classic and new influences on their journey, ranging from Iron Maiden to Edguy with some Sonata Arctica and Megadeth thrown in. The band has distilled this all down into their own unique sound on their debut, The Dawn of Enlightenment. Originally recorded in 2004, the band re-recorded the entire album in 2007 to take advantage of improved technology as well as an expanded lineup (keyboardist Peter Rutcho produced the 2007 version of Dawn and then joined the band full time).

Anyone familiar with the aforementioned bands should have no trouble guessing what The Dawn of Enlightenment sounds like. Armory isn't reinventing the wheel with this album. For the uninitiated, crunchy guitars, galloping bass lines and furious double kick drums make up the meat of the album. Vocalist Adam Kurland reigns over all with a voice that is at once Bruce Dickinson and Tobias Sammet (maybe more Tobias than Bruce, truth be told). In other words, this is an ass-kicking metal album all around. And let me get this out of the way: "Faith in Steel," the second track, is simply awesome. Ever since I first heard the 2004 version of this song it has been one of my all time favorites. Speed and grit are mixed with a shredding solo and the catchiest chorus this side of Sonata Arctica. The band really set the bar high right out of the gate with this one (the lyrics are pretty damn epic as well!) Other killer songs include "Riding the Cosmic Winds," "Mystic Star," and "The Eyes of Time." There are Marty Freidman-like solos, cool 70s inspired keyboard runs and even a section of the title track that sounds like incidental music from the movie Blade Runner.

There are some shortcomings on The Dawn of Enlightenment, most notably the ballad "Forever Triumphant." A poor man's Manowar clone at best. And many of the songs are long. Like Dragonforce long, especially the title track which checks in at a "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"-like 13:46. Once in a while I would sort of lose my place mentally while listening. Even excusing these two cuts, The Dawn of Enlightenment still delivers 45 minutes of outstanding Power Metal, and that makes it a very worthwhile pickup, and it leaves me anxiously awaiting Armory's next release.

More about Armory...
Review: Empyrean Realms (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Empyrean Realms (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Dawn of Enlightenment (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: The Dawn of Enlightenment (reviewed by PowerMetal59)
Interview with Adam Kurland (Lead singer) on August 29, 2009 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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