Armorer - Forlorn Album Review

by Brett Tharp

One aspect of black metal that sometimes goes under the radar is its flexibility. Anyone that’s spent a large amount of time delving into the genre could tell you that its shadow stretches farther than likely any other subgenre of heavy metal. You’ve got your post-black metal (Fen, Lantlos), folk (Agalloch, Ulver), punk (Bone Awl, Axeman), symphonic (Emperor, Dissection), dungeon synth (Summoning, Caladan Brood), and maybe a dozen more equally distinct twists on the genre. This is where Armorer, out of Murphy, North Carolina, come in. 

Little information is available about the presumed group of black metallers as there’s no list of band members on their social media page, but that’s nothing new. What’s more interesting is their sound. Armorer peddle in a curiously brutish yet intimate brand of atmospheric black metal, a bastard amalgamation of depressive melodies wrapped up in a metallic package. While not as outright raw as some contemporaries, their latest recording, a two-track EP titled Forlorn, is warmer and more muffled than you might expect given the melodic, meditative nature of the music. What isn’t ultimately so dissimilar from a particularly edgy screamo band results in a heavier stance when the warmer, reverb drenched waves of distortion, thicker bottom end, and notably masculine screams are factored in. The songs are even constructed traditionally, both cuts settling around a succinct four-minute mark. While not the finished package by any means, Armorer’s latest release is a memorable work that warrants further attention in future.