Crionics - Armageddons Evolution
Candlelight
Blackened Death Metal
11 songs (66'04")
Release year: 2005
Candlelight
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

I will take the cue from Daniel’s recent Taake review about Black Metal bands’ dilemma between evolution and stagnation, forgetting the roots and being forever stuck in the past. My views on the subject are probably wrong, and they won’t score any points on the Black Metal forum. Hell, I don’t even consider myself a trOO and kvlt fan. Unlike Daniel, I don’t group the bands in categories, those that will never evolve (Darkthrone) or those that are not Black Metal anymore (Behemoth). Whenever I put a Black Metal album in, I either like it or I don’t, damn the tags. Far from being an elitist, or a trOO devoted fan who listens to Black Metal ONLY, I either personally get saturated with the atmosphere or it all flows by me as one unintelligible jumble. Oh, and as a sidenote of how much you probably shouldn’t listen to my opinion, I think Sardonic Wrath was a good spontaneous exercise in blackest punk and Demigod is one of the best albums of last year.

Speaking of personal opinions, I am probably in minority by liking black metal bands taking a definitive death metal slant. See Behemoth above. I see nothing wrong when harsh and cold atmospheres are combined with jackhammering riffs, heavy bottom end and overall structure and precision. Enter Myrkskog, Zyklon, Sirius and Grimfist among the bands I like. Polish Crionics roared into the same scene with last year’s Human Error (Ways to Selfdestruction). I remember turning into a fan being immediately captivated by the album, and probably overquoting it a few points here and there.

Waran and Co. do nothing to dissuade me from praising this band one more time, with the release of Armageddon’s Evolution. Either these songs were prepared earlier and released in quick succession to Human Error or Waran is sitting on the deepest trough of blackened death metal riffs.

With Armageddon’s Evolution Crionics stayed away from sellout and, instead, reached for their formative influences. Keyboards and all, this album is so much more Emperor than it is Dimmu Borgir. In fact, I’d say the band cut down on melodic riffing, soloing and upfront keyboards. Armageddon’s Evolution is more about texture than it is about melody. Guitar riffs simply hit your cranium with multitude of strikes while keyboards manage to follow along and suck the soul right into this maddening vortex. The opener Arrival of Non Parallel Aeons may be a blastfest, but tracks like Final Inversion and FFF (Friezing Fields of Infinity) are wholesome 3-dimensional experiences making my head spin. Instead of being their own separate solo instrument, keyboards now create the alarming sense of urgency and almost spiritual cathedral breaks in the same track (Xenomorphized Soul Devoured). The band does not go all speed all the time, providing variations in tempo, where guitar submits to the rolling drum beat (title track) or an overall slower structure feels like a death invoking incantation (Celestial Interference). In fact, with its intro to Celestial Interference Crionics sound like a Black Metal version of Evergrey.

Pretty brutal album altogether, Crionics manage to insert some moments of pure brilliance when they weave classical melody in Disconnected Minds and then pop in some clean vocals, so unexpectedly, but so fitting with the guitar riffs in the song. The album closer Black Manifest (The Sermon to the Masses), probably the best track Crionics created thus far, takes a break to borrow from classical O Fortune and finishes with riffs being both tragic and monumental.

Vocal approach on Armageddon’s Evolution was something I didn’t totally embrace, Waran going for two styles, lower register growl and somewhat processed higher level shriek. The latter seemed a little too synthetic for my taste. Also, I am sure many would point out to Emperor worshipping with Armageddon’s Evolution, and as if in agreement, the band included the cover of masterful The Loss & Curse of Reverence as a bonus track.

Never static in its approach, Armageddon’s Evolution offers some sheer nuggets of brilliance from an up and coming band. Whether it is trOO Black Metal was beyond the point for me, the music enjoyment factor taking over completely.

Killing Songs :
Final Inversion, Xenomorphized Soul Devoured, Disconnected Minds, Black Manifest (The Sermon to the Masses)
Alex quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Crionics that we have reviewed:
Crionics - Neuthrone reviewed by Alex and quoted 65 / 100
Crionics - Human Error (Ways to Selfdestruction) reviewed by Alex and quoted 93 / 100
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