Armath Sargon – “When Love is Dead” (remastered)


when love is deadBlack metal from Northern Europe sounds intriguing.  Make it a solo project from Finland, and you have Armath Sargon.  When Love is Dead on Sanctus Gladius Records is a reissue/remastered version of the original released in 2011.  I haven’t heard the original, but if this is the remixed/remastered version, I can only imagine what the original sounded like.  This album has that old-school black metal feel and vibe to it that really is somewhat scarce in this day and age.

Hailing from Jyväskylä, Finland, Armath Sargon is a rather busy musician.  Not only for his solo efforts, which number greater than 15 releases since 2007, but also his other projects including Katumus and Zero + One among others.  One aspect all those share is the overall black metal sound and approach to songwriting.  Being a Christian, some choose to label Armath Sargon as “unblack” or “white” metal, but really I don’t find those terms very helpful.  I know a number of music fans appreciate the black metal genre regardless of lyrical content or beliefs of the performers, so in that sense, I would gladly recommend Armath Sargon to them since they view the “black” adjective as referring to style.  Given the corpse paint in his photos and general look of the albums and subject matter, one can guess that this will be authentic-sounding “black” (or extreme) metal.

The album opens up with some eerie sounding audio clip proclaiming over and over “Behold the Lamb of God” in a broken record fashion until a couple guitar chords come in and the metal explodes.  Rapid-fire drumming and power drill guitar playing are the norm, but there are some ever present keyboards that provide some atmosphere during the verse sections.  Vocals are of the raspy, dark, deep shouting and unfortunately, sound as if they were recorded far away from the music and then added back.  Overall, I’m not a fan of the production and mixing as it seems overly old and dated in terms of sound quality.

That being said, these are some phenomenal songs, instantly bringing to mind one of my favorite bands, Frost Like Ashes.  There is an underlying melody throughout many of the songs on the album and good variety between the songs so they don’t all seem to blend together.  Sanctus Gladius comments that this album has Armath Sargon adding “a bit more industrial style” and I’m not sure I really understand what that means.  My thought is that it is referring to the driving melodies within the songs and an underrepresentation of blast beats that normally accompany the genre.  Additionally, the guitars have a bit of a different more mainstream metal tone in some parts, reminding me of bands like Iron Maiden, especially during parts of “Wind in My Hair”.  This variety is certainly a welcome change as black metal can become a bit monotonous  at times.   The only real missteps are a couple songs that feature some clean spoken vocals  as those just don’t seem to fit well within the songs.  In terms of structure, many of the songs start out with a keyboard or other relatively calm intro section before the song roars off into a barrage of guitars and drums, but that is somewhat expected for the genre.

I would really love to hear this album with some expensive production and mixing.  I know the risk there is that much of the feel can be lost and the sound become sterilized, but I have a feeling with the strength of these songs that this wouldn’t happen.  Until that glorius day happens though, this will remain an old-school sounding black metal album that will bring back fond memories of past albums for many and will continue to be enjoyed as it is.

Rating: 8/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Immanuel (God Is Whit Us)
2. Wind in My Hair
3. Nocturnal Beast Turn To Ashes
4. Casting the Spirits Away pt. III
5. Massive Termination of Souls
6. Casting the Spirits Away pt. VI
7. Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
8. Through Space and Time
9. Psalm XV
10. When Love Is Dead A Mino

Band Members:
Armath Sargon – All instruments, vocals

“Veripolku” [2007]
“Opus Apocalypsis” Rex [2008]
“Winter of Tears and Path of Blood” [2009]
“Dark and Dead Visions of Fallen Souls” [2009]
“Love Is Life and Hate Is Death” [2010]
“Reflections from Eternity” [2010]
“4th Dimension” [2011]
“When Love Is Dead” [2011]
“Cyberian Inner Death” [2011] [review]
“Sea of the Blood” [2012]
“The Book of Revelation” [2012]
“888” [2012]
“Under the Moon and the Sun” [2012] [review]
“When Love is Dead” (remastered) [2014]

Record Label: Sanctus Gladius Records, Feb. 2014

Weblinks Facebook

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video for ‘Massive Termination of Souls’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts