The reservoir of new Swedish Metal bands seems to be just endless. Hot on the trails of High Roller recording artists Ambush, Air Raid, Lethal Steel, and so many others, there is Armory, a speed metal outfit from the lovely city of Gothenburg. Originally formed in the late summer of 2012 (out of the ashes of a band called Resurrector). After two demo tapes and the well-regarded debut album »World Peace … Cosmic War« (issued via High Roller Records in 2016) Armory are back with a brand new studio effort.
Conceptionally »The Search« carries on where »World Peace … Cosmic War« has left off. Guitarist Gustav Sundin explains: “The the title of our first album »World Peace … Cosmic War« referred to our theory that if global peace would ever be attained, the human race would probably soon thereafter direct their aggressive impulses outwards into cosmos. The title of the new album is multi-layered (just like the first one) but mainly refers to what will happen when humanity more actively starts searching for other lifeforms and what consequences that will have. The title also refers to the search for truth in general, and the most important question that springs to mind is of course whether there's anyone else out there in the universe. And perhaps even more important – will we be able to handle the answer to that question, whatever it might be?”
It seems as if science fiction is the main theme for Armory, a bit like classic John Cyriis period Agent Steel? True or false? ”We have songs on other subjects as well, but yes, science fiction and the mysteries of space in general is an eternal source of inspiration as well as a theme that seems to fit nicely with the music,” confirms Armory's lead guitarist. ”However, I would say that at least some of our lyrics could be described as futuristic rather than fictional. In those songs we try to get glimpses of what might come to be in a not so distant future. Sometimes these visions are of course inspired by science fiction literature, but by lots of other things as well, such as recent technological advances, philosophy, simply staring at the night sky or deep contemplation in general. And yes, amongst our many, many sources of musical inspiration, Agent Steel would probably be number one.”
As you can see, lyrically and conceptionally »The Search« is quite a demanding album, giving the listener food for thought. The same holds true for the band's second full-length record on a musical level, again it's a very guitar-driven and technical album. “It’s not something we consciously strive for, but I think you are right,” agrees Gustav Sundin. “We don’t want to write over-complicated riffs just for the sake of it, but we do like to play as fast as we possibly can (and then a tiny bit faster) so as we learn to play our songs faster and faster, that makes some of the riffs appear to be quite complex.”
Stylistically and lyrically Armory stand out a bit, we are not talking about run of the mill copycat Speed and Thrash Metal ... It seems as if the band puts a lot of thought into how they construct their actual songs. ”For sure we put a lot of effort into the songwriting process,” nods Gustav Sundin. “I also feel that we have gained a lot of experience since recording »World Peace … Cosmic War«, that we have put into use while writing the new album. So I hope that our news songs will be perceived as more well-thought-out. Our guitar melodies are mostly inspired by classic heavy metal acts like Maiden and Judas fucking Priest. On the new album we have also spent a lot more time on putting more melodies into the vocals and bass lines as well.”
Gustav Sundin and Ingelman constitute Armory's guitar duo, and they both have different influences: “If you would ask Ingelman, he would say that Yngwie is king! For me, Glenn Tipton is number one – such a tragedy with his current health condition – with K.K. Downing not far behind. Dave Mustaine with his maniac riffing also inspired me to pick up the guitar in the first place in my teens. In general, musicians who sometimes make mistakes but are playing with feeling and from the heart, rather than playing one million notes per minute perfectly.”
If you compare Armory to a lot of the current metal bands from Sweden, they somehow do not sound very "Swedish" at all. Armory rather seem to carve their own path, instead of following current trends … ”That could be,” says Gustav Sundin. ”Some people have told us the opposite as well though! Frankly, we don’t care much if people count us as part of some trend or scene or not. As you say, we go our own way and play music that’s fun to play and that we would like to listen to ourselves. If that happens to coincide with what other bands do or not doesn’t really matter. That being said, we are proud to be part of the underground metal scene in general. As long as we stand united and help each other, the underground will survive all trends!”