In many ways “Rock ‘N Roll Armageddon’ is an archetypal Death SS album, with its horror-themed songs and imagery and driven by an unassailable passion. I mean when you consider that this band has existed in some shape or form for over 40 years, what can drive these Italians if not passion for what they do?
The album is chock-full of catchy songs, even if sometimes I felt they were overdoing it with the ‘catchiness’ of the songs’ choruses (as in ‘The Fourth Reich’ for example). However the album also boasts some excellent song-writing that in fact makes up the release’s primary appeal.
Some notable moments: the intro to ‘Witches’ Dance’ has a techno-goth, Rammstein-style riff which, oddly enough, I quite liked. ‘Promised Land’ reminded me of Rob Zombie…perhaps not a co-incidence as Alex Horley, the cover artist of “Rock ‘N Roll Armageddon”, had previously worked with Mr Zombie. ‘Creature of the Night’ is a hypnotic number that I found myself singing along to after just a couple of spins.
One salient characteristic of this album is the pervasive use of electronic sounds, although not to the extent that Death SS had done with their “Panic” album of 2000. In fact I’d say “Rock ‘N Roll Armageddon” combines elements of all the band’s previous releases.
Another factor I cannot fail to mention is the excellent guitar work which definitely raises the album’s level a couple of notches.
‘Your Life Is Now’ and ‘The Glory Of The Hawk’ follow each other as both feature acoustic guitars. Both are stunning songs, especially the former which makes excellent use of the harmonica. These two are followed by the album’s closer, ‘Forever’, which has a faster tempo and where Death SS seem to give it all they’ve got.
A few background notes and comments about the album….”Rock ‘N Roll Armageddon” was self-released by the band in 2018 but High Roller Records felt it deserved a wider exposure. (I think so too!) And ‘Zombie Massacre’, ‘Witches’ Dance’ and ‘The Glory Of The Hawk’ had previously appeared on what are now hard-to-find singles or EPs…..but actually all 3 tracks are easily assimilated by the rest of the album.
If armageddon had songs like these playing as the world burned, the end might even be something to look forward to!
1. Black Soul
2. Rock 'n' Roll Armageddon
3. Hellish Knights
5. Creature of the Night
6. Madness of Love
7. Promised Land
8. Zombie Massacre (2018)
9. The Fourth Reich
10. Witches' Dance (2018)
11. Your Life Is Now
12. The Glory of the Hawk (2018)
Playing Time: 55:33
Steve Sylvester – lead vocals
Al De Noble - guitars
Glenn Strange - bass
Bozo Wolff - drums
Freddy Delirio - keyboards