Armageddon - Eternal Mystery Rediscovered

Armageddon Eternal Mystery Rediscovered cover
Eternal Mystery Rediscovered
Grom Records
“Eternal Mystery – Rediscovered” is truly a “Heavy Metal Symphony” featuring Opera singers from the Serbian National Theatre of Novi Sad and a full string quartet that guide the listener through a musical journey, about the Secrets of Life and Death, reads the press release and that had me somewhat intrigued. Actually it’s a re-imagining and an upgrade to the original “Eternal Mystery”, an album that was recorded some 25 years ago and sounded a lot worse as a result of being recorded using only 8 channels. The upgraded version makes use of modern technology and uses some 128 channels, in order to present the album as it was intended. As a number of other Serbian bands, they seem to be quite competent musicians and also there’s overlapping of musicians on various projects. The original guy who started Armageddon, back in 87 is Djordje Letich, who kept the band as a solo project for a while. It’s worth to notice, that in all their history the band has only performed live, a couple of times and it seems that a lot of the tracking of this album happened live and on stage in their 2012 “doomsday” concert, if I get it correctly which was later overdubbed. Like other Serbian bands, they also seem to have a bit of an “empty” slightly dated idea, on the production side, which lacks in power and volume, sounding rather lifeless as a result. At least it allows all the instruments to be represented... but still...
Their original normal compositions, are pretty decent, but with hardly any of the “additional instrumentation being use” but still, the production seems to keep them back... and then in truly over the top fashion you get one massive 27 plus minute composition entitled, “Heavy Metal Symphony” where they utilize, everything they got... the whole album seems to be a concept all about life-death and reincarnation, but all in all, this conclusion is so over the top, that even with all it’s neat parts and orchestrations it fails to be easily “consumable”. Then there are a bunch of tracks as “bonuses” I presume, like an edited short version of “No Advice”, one of the better songs of the album. An updated version of “Sarabanda 2015 / Funeral March”, a radio edit of “Heavy Metal Symphony” that’s reduced down to less than five minutes from the original half hour, thus losing a lot of its parts, and “orchestrations” but becoming more “listenable”. And a live version of “Mordor” complete with the opera singers, which in reality sounds better than the properly mixed album… go figure...
At any rate, I cannot fault the ideas or the ambition of these Serbs, but the execution, leaves much to be desired. I guess it might mean a great deal to the local Serbian scene, but overall…