Light to Dead – “Crush the Idols”


Crush the IdolsFrom the bleak, iciness of Finland, Armath Sargon has released a new album from his Light to Dead project.  As those familiar with Armath Sargon, might expect, this too is a black metal project but a bit of a atmospheric, thrashy emphasis this time.

From a distance, one has to marvel at the musical output of Armath Sargon.  Since 2007, he’s released more than 15 solo projects but has a number of other projects, including Katumus and Zero + One and Light to Dead not to mention some others I’ve likely missed.  The common thread between all of these is the black metal sound and approach to the music.  Of course, some choose to label his music as “white” metal or “unblack” but if we think just of the overall sound and style, black metal fits and likely prompts fewer puzzled looks. From the limited information I can find, this is actually the second release from Light to Dead, with the first being The Way released in 2013.

Outside of the vocals and an atmospheric background feel to the song, “Crush the Idols” could be more of a death metal song.  Unfortunately, throughout the album, the sound quality is a bit muddy and muffled in many respects, making the instruments often blend together and the vocals more of a backing track.  Some of the slower sections in “Crush the Idols” do let the guitars shine through though and overall the song has a more rhythmic feel and sway to it than most black metal.

“In the Midst of Lions” literally roars from the start with a thrashy verse section and rumbling drums that transitions into blast beats and atmospheric feeling black metal before alternating back.  The mix of the two styles in one song is an interesting approach especially since the listener may be expecting a bit of a break after the thrash parts but none is given.  The song also contains a rather scorching guitar solo, adding even more variety.

“Caravan of Morbid Madness” takes things in a whole different direction in a song about choosing to serve God over the world.  Calm acoustic, clean guitars open the track and also demonstrate the Armath Sargon’s musicality.  The rest of the instrument come in and the guitar leads over a marching-like beat that transitions into a chugging rhythm for the verse sections of the song.  Vocals remain the same, and the song is generally quite pummeling.  Not until close to the half-way point do the black metal and blast beats come in, but only for a rather short section.

Black metal purists would be probably most happy with “You’re My Beloved” and “Fallen Soul” as both start with the familiar blast beats and droning guitars throughout although in “You’re My Beloved” there are some odd tempo changes and transitions that initially make the listener think the song is headed in a different direction.  On the other hand the beginning of “Lost My Dreams” opens up sounding like it could almost be an Ozzy song with the bass and piano and some cleanly sung vocals with a  doomy-like atmosphere surrounding it.  The guitars come in later and the rest of the song alternates back and forth between these modes, making it definitely the most ambitious track on the album and most different.

Light to Dead is certainly a different approach compared to other Armath Sargon projects.  Unfortunately, the production and mixing hampers the overall experience a bit.  Those familiar with Armath Sargon’s work will find a lot of the familiar here in Light to Dead, but will also find some surprises that help make this an interesting listen.  Those not so familiar with Armath Sargon will hear a good introduction to the sound on a number of his projects but also will find some variety mixed in with the black metal.

Rating: 7/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Crush the Idols
2. In Midst of Lions
3. In the Hades
4. Mayhem
5. Caravan of Morbid Madness
6. You’re My Beloved
7. Lost My Dreams
8. Fallen Soul (In this World)

Band Members
Armath Sargon – all instruments, vocals

Record Label: No Sleep Till Megiddo Records, Okt. 2014

Weblinks: Facebook / Soundcloud

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video below ‘In The Hades’

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