The Crimson Armada is a metalcore group from Ohio that’s been getting a lot of attention lately. After listening to their new album, I can clearly see why. Although they touch on religious topics, as evidenced in the songs “Soulcrusher” and “Questioning God,” they are not to be considered a Christian band. They recorded Conviction with former Mychildren Mybride drummer Brian Hood (who also produced A Plea For Purging’s latest album The Marriage of Heaven and Hell), and this band will be sure to make shock waves in the music scene with their fine-tuned musicianship for those who take the time to listen.
I decided to sit on this album for a bit until writing the review so that I may read other reviews, and this band has been getting a lot of criticism that I don’t feel they rightfully deserve. I mean, I’ve heard they excessively rap in a nu-metal style, but in all honesty here, they don’t do it often and when they do, it’s actually good. Sure, this album may be full of breakdowns, and it may not be the most original album of the year, but it’s pretty damn good and not just another hardcore release that should be forgotten. Although I do have to agree with them on the fact that it’s completely different than Guardians. Gone is the death metal riffage, the vocalist’s constant high shrieks and the speed that was evident in the songs “Desecrated” and “Revelations.”
“Conviction” has one of the most perfect breakdown openers I’ve ever heard, with a perfectly timed bass drop that will get the crowd jumping and provide the energy that The Crimson Armada keeps throughout the rest of the song and well into the album. The gang vocals are also a welcome addition that weren’t evident in their previous album Guardians. Although the vocals were one thing that made the last album so good, the clean singing is very good. I never would have expected Saud Ahmed to make this transition so well.
“Composed Of Stone” is a track that has drawn the most criticism from others. Although it pretty much reeks of Emmure, it’s of when they were actually good, and not how they are now. The rapid drumming successfully saves the track from complete Emmure stench, and the imposing shrieking over the gothic soundscape the keys provide wouldn’t sound out of place on a black metal album. The spoken word parts in here put it back in the same territory it started out from, but the guitar solo makes its final mark and leaves a good impression on people to continue through the rest of the album.
“Questioning God” starts off with an epic breakdown that fills the soundscape of whatever you’re listening to the song on, be it headphones or speakers. The buildup at the fifty second mark is pretty noteworthy as well, although the hard-hitting section is too short and leads to Saud actually singing outward, which is a little unexpected here.
There’s not a dull moment on this entire album, other than the Emmure-esque parts that rarely show up. Definitely give this album a listen for yourself and draw your own conclusions, as I feel some of the other critics really didn’t know what they were talking about when listening to Conviction.