Technically, this post has already been written. No, I don’t mean in the “bruh what if alternate realities are real and in it I am a vegetable of sorts that can talk?” kind of way, it’s just that we already told you to listen to this band in 2011. But a lot of abrasive water has flown under the bridge since then (although we also told you about them in 2015 and at other times) and something seems to be stirring in The Armed‘s camp. Namely, the punk/mathcore/hardcore/batshit crazy band have released a new album called ONLY LOVE and you really need to listen to it. Yes, even if you’ve heard this band before. Yes, even if you didn’t like them before. This is a whole new beast.
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OK, so The Armed’s MO for the past few years has been the kind of chaotic punk and hardcore that makes projects like Sectioned tick; full fury, all the time, no prisoners taken. But then, ONLY LOVE opens with a synth? And those synths carry on through the album? And are backed by a bunch of other electronic trickery, including a part on the second track, “ROLE MODELS”, that sounds like a synth attempting tremolo picking? Alright, you might say, I’ll give this a chance and probably a few spins but then I’ll move on. No, you won’t. Because the addition of electronics is much more than just a gimmick; there’s a deep reconfiguration of what The Armed are about and it works. Weird synth tones shatter to a million pieces over breakneck guitars, harsh, abrasive vocals anoint the resulting mess with a thick, oily type of aggression and the drums don’t rest for a goddamn second. The end result maintains their impossible energy but injects it with all sorts of frenetic, electronic vibes.
Oh, and did I mention there are god damn black metal influences? Because there are; some of the blastbeats, guitar lines and those synths I mentioned are post-black metal at its finest. The end result is part Adebisi Shank, part Genghis Tron, part The Armed. And if name dropping two of the best and most legendary defunct bands on the planet doesn’t get you interested, then there’s really no hope for you. ONLY LOVE is a trip and a half, a furious exploration of what happens when you’re dedicated to both punk/hardcore and innovation. It has a bit for everyone; “NOWHERE TO BE FOUND” is ambient and off-kilter, “PARDOY WARNING” sings the beauty of chaos while introducing high pitched backing vocals and closer “ON JUPITER”…”ON JUPITER” is just amazing. Look, what the fuck are you still doing here? Go listen to this album right now and buy it. Support artists. Descend into chaos. Let loose.