Armageddon Holocaust - Radioactive Zone 245


Once an extreme black metal band in the vein of Horde, Armageddon Holocaust has now merged with the band Doctor Dark to create Radioactive Zone 245.  Actually, most of the album was orginally planned to be released under the name Doctor D, with the album title being D-Liverance.  Most of that album's material appears here.  Armageddon Holocaust was orginally supposed to be just a one album band, and in a sense they still are.  This stuff is actually pretty different from both bands, while still combining influences from their previous work.  Imagine a mix of older metal like Bathory, Celtic Frost, and Venom along with a touch of Kekal and you'll get a slight idea of the feel here.  This band mixes so many influences on this record that it almost sounds like a different band every song.  The strange thing is, it maintains a cohesive feel throughout.
The music played here is dark and raw with a good deal of early thrash influences.  The vocals are harsh and run the gamete from black to death to somewhat clean, to somewhat retarded.  This album actually has grown on me a lot.  I had a hard time getting into it at first, but after multiple, high-volume listens I'm finding a lot that makes me come back.  I especially like the level of aggression in songs like "Q-Factor" and "Emptyhollow".  Those songs even include some quick, but cool guitar solos that I wish were more common throughout the rest of the disc.  They even do a pretty cool industrial/ambient song "Grave Capsule" at the end of the album.  The drumming on this disc sounds like it's probably a drum machine again like last time.  It gets annoying that most of the Indonesian stuff has drum machines, but at least they are well done unlike some bands that shall remain unmentioned.  The artwork here is nothing to write home about...just a single page insert with band history.  There are also no lyrics to speak of in the "booklet".  The production is well done, and a big improvement over their last album.
Overall, I like their previous style better, but this project surpasses the former in quality.  The key to this release is multiple listens before it starts to sink in.  (Review by Matt)