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I only just recently started getting into the whole melodic death metal thing, and this was actually the first Arch Enemy album I listened to. At the time, I had no idea it was re-recorded versions of older material, since I had never heard anything else by the band. Without the knowledge of this being re-recorded, I ignorantly listened and liked almost every minute of it. That in my opinion makes this a good album.
Although I like the album, I can see how this album could disappoint a hardcore Arch Enemy fan. Instead of recording an album of new material they just recorded old stuff over again and if I were a huge Arch Enemy fan eagerly awaiting the next release of brand new songs and found out it was this I’d be disappointed. Quite honestly, the album has no point beside a little extra easy money in the pockets of the band.
The re-recorded songs sound almost the same just with Angela Gossow on vocals instead of Johan and the newer sounding production. Both these things to me are a good thing. I prefer Angela’s vocals to Johan’s because when I listen to Johan he sounds very monotone and Angela has a lot of variety to her voice, even if it still isn’t the greatest. The other difference is the new production, which doesn’t bother me at all. Good production can never be a bad thing to my ears and I feel they did a good job producing this album. The biggest problem the album has is that the vocal are pushed really far forward in the mix and the other instruments sound muffled under them. This problem with the production is a pretty big one considering when the guitars and drums are standing alone without the vocal I think they sound great.
If you’ve been listening to Arch Enemy since the beginning I doubt you’ll enjoy this album. It will seem pointless and boring since you have already heard all these songs before, but if you are new to Arch Enemy like I was I would recommend giving this album a listen. While bands like Testament and Exodus completely changed the sound of their original releases with the re-recordings by down tuning the guitars and slowing the tempo, Arch Enemy does none of that here. The songs are exactly the same with Angela’s vocals instead of Johan’s and some different production, which makes the album a pointless addition to the Arch Enemy discography but still not a bad one.