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Album Reviews : 4arm – The Empires of Death

By on March 26, 2010

l_1eb8dd7e852c408ba410213e1f4da656Melbourne’s 4arm are set to cause an epidemic of wet pants amongst groove fans with their sophomore album ‘The Empires of Death’. With a good 5 year gap between this and their debut, the band have clearly spent a great deal of time ensuring every single track is as powerful as the next.

In a somewhat similar manner to Pantera, 4arm alternate between thrash ferocity and stoner grooves, with a fairly good balance all the way through. “Lead The Way” has a chorus that Down fans will go nuts over while the earlier half of “Peace In Hate” heads into Machine Head territory. You’ll find hints of Electric Wizard and Orange Goblin when things slow down again, and Motorhead and Anthrax when it speeds back up again. Each end of the spectrum complements the other well here, and the band seamlessly blend the two with ease.

While most of the album sticks with the heavy, chunky material, there are a few breaks to keep things interesting. The first minute of “Bring Me Back” features quiet, almost country sounding clean guitars with vocals beginning at a whisper but growing with power. And the title track takes a completely different direction, with spoken vocals and the type of drum focus more common amongst Tool material.

Vocalist Danny Tomb (with a last name like that, how could he not be in a metal band?) has the perfect amount of grunt, staying easily understandable. Imagine James Hetfield, but with a bit of that relaxed stoner vibe, and you know what to expect. Instrumentally it’s all hard to fault; with a such great production and every instrument having some serious power to it, it would sound killer no matter what they’re playing.

If you’re partial to groove-laden rock with a thrash injection, then go and get this album. You’ll enjoy it, I promise. 8/10

For fans of: Frankenbok, Dreadnaught, Down, late Anthax

Band: 4arm
Album: The Empires of Death
Year: 2010
Genre: Groove/Thrash metal
Origin: Melbourne, Australia
Label: Independent

Track listing:
1. Carnal
2. Lead the Way
3. An Old Man Dies
4. Unchanged
5. Bring Me Back
6. Peace in Hate <- Reviewers choice
7. Little Doll
8. 1260 Days
9. Burn It All
10. Spent and Bled
11. The Empires of Death
12. The Cage


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.