The Bottom Line
- Guitarists Dan Hatfield and Josh Jardim are frequently stunning.
- Philosophically-based messages of positivity.
- Far too many metalcore clichés destabilize the band’s inherent strengths.
- Released July 7, 2009 by Metal Blade Records.
- Debut album from The Crimson Armada.
- Recorded at The Foundation.
Guide Review - Crimson Armada, The - 'Guardians'
All of that being said, with a proper push (the group is already on a national summer tour), The Crimson Armada will endear itself immediately to today’s generation of headbangers simply because they fit the script sound-wise.
Their spiritual grounding is perhaps the reason The Crimson Armada took the coaxing of their fans and supporters seriously when the group decided to split up in 2007. Following last year’s “comeback” EP Behold the Architect, The Crimson Armada’s debut album Guardians is a bulldogging affair with menacing tones, intense shredding and throat-scorched vocals, which combined sound purely evil. The trick here (as black metallers have publicly scorned lately) is The Crimson Armada is essentially a Christian band under the guise of deathcore.
Deathcore, metalcore, Strypercore, whatever you want to call it, The Crimson Armada does offer their listeners something beyond the tired pentagrams, goat heads and severed limbs, and it’s not just their about-faced messages of hope. At times, Guardians sparkles with prog twines and fret magic from Dan Hatfield and Josh Jardim.
On the flipside, the usual gamut of breakdowns, blast rhythms, howls ‘n growls and abrupt signature swaps simply get in the way of The Crimson Armada’s missionary existence and capsizes their ark of covenants under waves of predictability. Not that The Crimson Armada sees it that way, nor do their fans. They wouldn’t be here if people didn’t believe in what they’re doing.