The chances are that you missed Armageddon first time around – unless you live in Japan, which was the only place their second and third albums (Crossing The Rubicon and Three) were released. This is not because they were not good outings – they were killer, since you ask – but because they were, at the time, releases from a low-key Arch Enemy side-project.
Upon leaving AE in 2012, guitarist Christopher Amott resurrected the project and, after striking up a writing partnership with bassist Sara Claudius (she handles the lyrics, he handles the music), turned Armageddon into a proper band. But, it turns out, Christopher very nearly decided to abandon his career as a musician and follow an entirely new path./o:p
“I wanted to try something else – try a few things,” he says. “I did a solo album and… I was going through a weird period where I didn’t know if I wanted to play music anymore. Maybe I wanted to try something else for a career – go back to school, or something. But then I thought, ‘No, I really want to play metal, I really enjoy it!’ and I just started writing metal like crazy.”
“When you don’t know anything else, you start questioning,” he adds. “If you have done one thing your whole life, you just don’t know what anything else is, so I hadn’t had a whole lot of experience in other things. It was just a phase. I was just overthinking things, really.”
The resulting album, Captivity And Devourment, is the first of what Christopher hopes will be many albums, with touring an equal priority. This is also, in essence, a full reset for Armageddon.
Old songs will not be played live, and the band’s current style is not directly linked to those first three records, even when they occasionally stray into similar territory – and given how many styles the new record covers, wandering as it does through different strains of groove, as well as incorporating ideas from black, death, thrash and power metal, some form of crossover seems inevitable. All of this would suggest that Christopher has changed significantly as a musician over the last dozen years… right?
“Not really, no,” he says with a smile. “I’m still just pretty basic. I like simple stuff. I really do try and take things away more than add anything. I’ve done a few solo albums which are very soft compared to what I do with Armageddon. I think it’s good to explore all kinds of styles if you can – if you have the time, money and the opportunity.”
CAPTIVITY & DEVOURMENT IS OUT NOW VIA LISTENABLE/o:p