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Armageddon USA - UP IN FLAMES

Armageddon USA - Up in Flames

Armageddon USA is a reunion and a name change for a band that started life as Second Chance in the late 80's, name change #1 to Armageddon, had a single "Liberation (from the Blazing Wastelands)" on the East Coast Metal comp, and then signed to REX Records for their first and only disc The Money Mask in 1989. The label folded and so did the band, and the guys retreated from the limelight, with the exception of drummer Joe Hasselvander, who continued beating the skins for the likes of Pentagram, Raven, and Hounds of Hasselvander.

Over the past few years the guys reconvened, name change #2 to Armageddon USA, and started thrashing again like it was still 1989. The band's new CD Up In Flames shows a band staying true to their heritage, yet sounding current and fresh. The band varies between traditional metal and thrash, with a decidedly dark bent "Hypnotized" and the occasional twist of doom, smoking guitars, with the socio-political scrutiny of Megadeth or Queensryche, and vocals similar to Suicidal Tendencies' Mike Muir. The album's only ballad "Allie" is striking in that towards the end of the song, I would swear that there is guitar work playing both forward and backward at once. "All Over the World" and the title track bookend the album with strong tracks. Special guest John Gallagher of Raven fame. 3 out of 5 stars (indie) - Chris Gatto

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