Armed for Apocalypse: Heavy Doesn’t Always Equal Fast
Featuring ex-members of cred-heavy bands like Will Haven, the Abominable Iron Sloth and Ghostride, it’s safe to say that Armed for Apocalypse have an impressive subterranean pedigree. Guitarist Cayle Hunter, who the third of nine children and whose parents are still married after 40 years, told Noisecreep, “I have never been so fulfilled in a band as I am with Armed For Apocalypse. Our possibilities going forward are endless. Every day, we find new ways to be heavier. Our riffs and song ideas keep getting darker and dirtier. We really want to push the boundaries and see just how heavy we can get as a group. That’s not something I can say about any other band any of us have been in. They’ve all had different agendas.”
The band’s debut, ‘Defeat,’ out now on Metal Blade, is one of those slabs of molten metal that proves being heavy doesn’t always require playing incredibly fast! “Black Sabbath was one of the heaviest bands of all time, and they hardly ever went fast,” Hunter said. “I understand why Metallica and Slayer and bands like that pushed it in that direction — because it was different. It had balls. It had attitude.
“Same with some of the early death metal bands. It sounded like the craziest thing ever! But some bands thought speed made it heavy, so they started trying play faster on all the instruments. Now it has morphed into who can play the hardest, most technical thing the fastest.”
Armed for Apocalypse aren’t wasting time trying to be the most technical band out there, even though their skill and level of play is jaw-droppingly fierce. Hunter also said the current scene is often “like an athletic competition, and that doesn’t interest us. Sure you can play gravity blasts at record speed and do arpeggio sweeps faster than anyone, but can you write a good song? Does it invoke emotion in anyone that listens to it? Is it actually even heavy?
“I don’t care what you can do on your instrument. I don’t care about being a good guitar player even. I just care about being in a good band. I care about writing good songs. I care about everybody in the practice room putting their heart in to what we are writing and carrying that same heart to the stage. Sometimes it’s fast. Sometimes it’s slow. But it will always be sincere.”
Maybe some of Hunter’s desire to be sincere is due to being reared in such a large family unit. His father was the local news anchor for a decade. “Everybody in town knew him as ‘that dude on the news with all the kids,'” Hunter said. Now, his son can be known as the local dude in the head-turning metal band!