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A solid effort - 75%

The Clansman 95, August 9th, 2018

After the success, but also the controversy, aroused by "Doomsday Machine", Arch Enemy, the often maligned, often praised swedish melodic death metal ensemble led by Amott brothers, comes up with its seventh full-length release, named "Rise of the Tyrant". Will this album uphold the band's growing reputation in the metal community, or will it just give rise to critics by detractors?

Well, "Rise of the Tyrant" shows little progression from the band's previous outputs, since the entry into scene of vocalist Angela Gossow. The songs are heavy, the riffs are thrashy and extremely technical (think to album opener "Blood On Your Hands", if you want an example"), there's plenty of awesome guitar shredding. Our blonde pet still growls and screams about rebelling against society, inner conflicts, pain, life struggles, etc.; the vocals are of course still overlayered, although less effected than in the band's previous album. The drumming is fast and aggressive, featuring some interesting patterns and fills; the bass is unfortunately lost in the mix. The production is well balanced (save for the aforementioned bass volume) and sounds fresh, managing to result modern while not sounding too polished or lifeless.

"Rise of the Tyrant" is overall a really strong, enjoyable and solid effort; the only problem is, it's nothing we haven't heard before from the band. The main issue with Arch Enemy is that they stuck to the same, commercially successful formula since the arrival of Angela; although the band's discography remained consistent (at least, until this point), the feeling you might get after listening to this album more and more might be that of tiredness, fatigue. This doesn't mean the album isn't cool: simply, it's pretty much the same kind of stuff we've heard before.

The songs are overall strong, especially under the guitar department, featuring some top-notch riffing and some awesome guitar soloing, but they lack a bit of variety; they're almost all pretty much the same kind of track. The lyrical themes aren't particularly original or noteworthy, as stated above: they just fit the band's style. The guitar melodies, on the other hand, are definitely memorable and instantly recognizable, and they get fixed in the mind easily; this is an important requirement, since we're talking of a melodic death metal band. Furthermore, the choruses result particularly catchy and inspired.
Album highlights include the aforementioned "Blood On Your Hands" (those riffs are really epic), leading single "Revolution Begins" (the melody and the chorus here are really noteworthy), the heavy title track "Rise of the Tyrant", and the final song "Vultures", the longest of the entire album.

All in all, we can easily say that, with this release, Arch Enemy delivered once again, crafting an album that, although not particularly original or innovative when compared to the band's previous outputs, still stands strong and results fun and enjoyable, thanks to its heaviness, the solid songwriting, the catchiness, the great production; too bad this CD would later be remembered as the last real quality release from the swedish melodeath giant, at least until now...

Melodeath's finest - 83%

Oss1, June 25th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2007, CD, Century Media Records

On this album, Arch Enemy finally realised what melodic 'death' metal is all about; speed metal riffs in a death metal-style enviroment. Riffs inspired by the 80's thrash metal bands, and maybe later Motörhead, are the main building blocks of this CD. On top of these riffs, the lead guitar rises with emotion in a style that has dominated all popular music the last few decades. The song structures do not wonder in to the progressive style of death metal, but rather stay in the standard verse-chorus style of heavy metal.

The anthemic vision that Arch Enemy have always strived for, seems to be present on this album more than ever. The album is surprisingly heavy and does not bow to the usual gimmicks of 'melodeath'. The guitarists lay down some memorable lead guitar lines over aggressive riffs, commented by the vocalists high screech. The songs build up with fairly standard, downtuned speed metal riffs, until the tension is relieved, usually in the chorus, with a lead guitar melody ranging from melancholic to rebellious. During verses the rhythm guitar sometimes steps away to a generic muted strum giving space for the vocalist's lyric delivery. Neo-classical licks in the style of Yngwie Malmsteen gives this album a dramatic undertone.

Although the band's virtuosity comes across clear, I see no ego-boosting apart from a few solos, that could have been cut shorter. Explosive guitar solos are many and they follow the style of Iron Maiden with two separate spots for each guitarist to showcase their shred abilities. Nice dual harmonies also find their way to the end of these solo sections. Vocalist, while maybe too weak for death metal, does a nice job conveying these songs without being the center of attention. Bass is constantly present following the fast footwork of the drummer, who punctuates these riffs well.

All in all, this is an enjoyable record within a genre that has suffered from too many below-the-average acts. This hybrid of death and heavy metal is enjoyable in small doses and although it may not leave a lasting impression, it sure can make your feet stomp and head bang. The bar has been raised by Arch Enemy to heights that could cause other bands to move to other genres, which might be a good thing for the evolution of heavy metal.

Tyranny at it's (almost) finest! - 89%

Gornot, January 4th, 2018

By this point there's been so many reviews and different opinions written about this album that it seems almost pointless for me to add another, but I am going to do it anyway because of one simple fact:

"Rise of the Tyrant" is what really got me into the Arch Enemy sound. Previously I have only heard a couple of their songs (those being "Nemesis" and "Skeleton Dance") and by the time I really started paying attention to the band, this album was released and I was eager to give it a listen.

Unlike some of their other releases, there is no veil of secrecy and suspence implemented as an intro to the album. The band immediately bursts into "Blood on Your Hands" with strong intensity that is expected of them. The production on this album is much more raw than on "Doomsday Machine", the guitar sound is beastly and outright fucking dirty, and it suits the album very well. The drums could've been mixed with a bit more detail, but they are good enough despite the overwhelming amount of guitar shredding. Angela Gossow sounds as amazing as always and she is one of the reasons I really like this band (aside from the fact that she breaks stereotypes of growl vocals being almost exclusively a male thing).

Unfortunately, this album does not come without flaws. The songs, while being very strong and impressive for the better part of the album, are not diverse enough to be immediately distinctive and I was not able to tell them apart from just the first couple of listens. "I Will Live Again" is, perhaps, one strong exception, and a song that despite being on the slower side than what I'm used to from Arch Enemy, is really good. I can't help but think that if Alissa White-Gluz was already in the band by this point, the song would've ended up even better with her clean vocals implemented, because Angela's performance here feels somewhat out of place during the verses. The leading solo just begs for a massive crowd chant, but instead it insists on harsh vocals and somewhat undermines the song's potential.

By the time the title track kicks in, I realize I wish there was at least some sort of a break from the pace of the album (despite this track being the one with an intro) and although "Intermezzo Liberté" provides it, I really really wish it was implemented a little bit earlier in the tracklist.

Overall, while this album is not perfect, the good certainly outweighs the bad, and even some of the weaker songs on this release are still interesting and catchy enough to be - if not very memorable and a staple of Arch Enemy's work - very enjoyable still.

Personal favorites and highlights:
Blood on Your Hands
The Last Enemy
In This Shallow Grave
Intermezzo Liberté

Arch Enemy deliver again - 87%

PorcupineOfDoom, September 26th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2007, CD, Century Media Records

By this point in Arch Enemy's long career, most people have probably got bored of their sound and decided to ditch it and go listen to something else. Because I'd never been into death metal when this stuff was released (heck, I didn't start listening to this stuff until five years or so later), I just found all of Arch Enemy's stuff instantly captivating. This album stands out from their other ones, but I wouldn't say it was their best album.

Why not? Mostly because unlike 'Wages Of Sin' and 'Doomsday Machine', there are multiple songs that I dislike on this album. I don't mean to name and shame any in particular, but... Who am I kidding, I'm looking at you 'I Will Live Again', 'Revolution Begins' and 'The Great Darkness'. The first one tries to do something different and fails miserably, the second just gets a bit repetitive and generally isn't something to get excited about until the end (admittedly I did enjoy the outro), and the third felt a bit out of tune for the most part and just wasn't to my liking.

Now that that's out of the way, onto the good bits of the album. As a whole, the sound for this album is consistently faster and heavier than most of their other works. Unlike their previous album 'Doomsday Machine', Angela's voice sounds human rather than robotic (thank fuck) and that adds the feel of the music. The rest of the stuff is what you'd expect from the band, only heavier than normal. 'The Last Enemy' and 'Rise Of The Tyrant' are good examples of this, as they show that - while they have melodic parts - they're focused on delivering something slightly harder than they did with their last couple of albums.

A song that I feel is significantly underrated on this album is 'In This Shallow Grave'. No one ever seems to mention it, not just in terms of it being a good song but there also don't seem to be any real critics of it. It's almost as if no one has actually heard it. It jumps right into the song with fast and heavy riffs and pacey drumming, topped off with some harsh death growls. Then all of a sudden when it hits the chorus one of the guitarists starts playing a few nice hooks over the top of the continually heavy riffs and drums. Some people will think that it doesn't fit, but personally I love it. Still, I'd expect some critics of the song at least, but their attention seems firmly fixed on 'Night Falls Fast' and 'Revolution Begins'.

The only (decent) songs on the album that don't follow the general outline are 'The Day You Died' and 'Vultures', which add a little bit of variety to the mix but aren't really the best songs on the album. 'Vultures' starts off in quite a different way with two guitars doing different things that come together nicely, but ultimately it just turns into a fairly generic melodeath song. It does have some good parts to it, but six minutes is kind of stretching my patience with the same riffs and hooks over and over again.

Overall, I would say that while as a whole it doesn't top their last album, certain points of 'Rise Of The Tyrant' are better than those of 'Doomsday Machine'. Another strong showing by Arch Enemy with another great album, which pretty much cements their reputation as one of the legends of melodic death metal (in my eyes at least).

Arch Enemy - Rise of the Tyrant - 90%

Orbitball, July 5th, 2013

Aggressive, melodic, original, awe-inspiring, dripping with hatred, and wonderfully executed. My past dislike of Angela has dissipated and there are no more ill feelings towards her taking over in the vocal department with Johan fired for reasons unknown to me. Nevertheless, I'd have to say that this album is way better than "Doomsday Machine" and very much thought out more lyrically and musically. A great production sound and just pure furious hatred spewed forth alongside Michael Amott's melodies accompanied by his brother's incredible leads with utmost technicality. There were no real parts on the album that didn't dissuade me from liking the release.

Loved the ongoing heavy guitar riffs which (I think) are B or C-tuned and solid. Tremolo picked frenzies along with melodies that are just rampant and miraculously composed. The vocals went well with the music and everything seemed to fit here. Varying degrees of tempo changes, but not very drastic. Michael just flexing out that wah-pedal with precision. This album brings me back to the days of "Black Earth" and "Stigmata" minus Johan. It's taken me literally years to accept the fact that he's no longer with the band and it's okay now that I hear Angela over Johan. I suppose that they really chose her because her aggression was far more than his.

There aren't any tracks that I dislike on this release, it's heavy pretty much all the way through. A great turn for the band and it's like reliving the "Wages of Sin" era, which I think isn't as good as this one even though my previous contention was that it was the only release I could tolerate with Angela doing the vox. But I suppose that fans didn't lose interest in the band and they continued to grow musically and getting a mixing/production gem-like in precision with no real flaws that I'd conclude with. A true damn heavy melodic death release and their best album in years.

The whole album has a combination of 3-4 different guitar variants: thick/chunky rhythms, some clean bits (but not many), wah-pedal melodies along with the chunky guitar bits. They really take the music and fire off some unimaginable songs that just own you. The technicality is there too, especially Christopher's lead work. Michael writing pretty much the most of the music/lyrics and Angela belting out heavy throat that turns the AE melodic death into a more extreme metal, death like in nature. Way more all encompassing than Johan ever was. I've heard the talk about the "sex sells" the music referring to Angela, but my view is now to a point to where I see it working with her.

If you have been following AE and have this, you'll probably conclude that like me this is their best release in years. With Christopher out of the band now and their latest "Khaos Legions" dismay, you'll find that this one is their last great effort. I'd conclude that the first 4 albums are monuments and this one belongs in the monuments section as well. If you lost interest in the band when Angela joined, give this one a try because you'll find all of the makings of a great album here triumphantly. A definite gem, emotion filled with Michael's amazing melodies mixed in with Angela's fury that keeps them in "heavy" mode accompanying the great guitar work here. Own it!

Solid, if somewhat commercial. - 77%

hells_unicorn, December 12th, 2011

As my continuing education in the well known subject of melodeath proceeds, along with it comes my perplexity at its polarizing nature. In many respects it comes off as an eclectic blend of modern power and thrash metal conventions with a hint of the archaic early 90s death metal scene before brutality began to reign supreme. Perhaps that is the problem, the lack of brutality, as Sweden’s contribution to this style has largely gone the way of near pop/rock simplicity. My new found interest in Arch Enemy, perhaps among the better known in this business alongside Amon Amarth, bucks this trend in some respects, while providing a much needed technical edge to it that shouldn’t be ignored.

Largely hailed as a comeback album after the perceived failure that was “Doomsday Machine”, “Rise Of The Tyrant” actually saw this outfit come into some mainstream success. This might be confusing to those who associate the Billboard Top 200 with Nickelback and Breaking Benjamin, but given the similar success of Behemoth, it’s far from unheard of. Arch Enemy is not at all inaccessible here when it comes to mainstream ears, particularly when considering the heavily rock infused “Revolution Begins”, the mid-tempo single hit that enjoyed regular play on Headbangers Ball, as well as the equally simple and restrained “I Will Live Again”. Either one of the aforementioned songs could just as easily rope in anyone who took to Children Of Bodom or In Flames back in their formative days.

Nevertheless, the charm of this band is found principally in their ability to balance aggression, catchiness, and virtuosity into a nice, tight package that can play to anyone who wants to hear something that’s animated yet not over-the-top. Keyboards are used sparingly, Gossow’s manly barks get the job done but are mostly one dimensional, but the riff work on here is fairly fancy, as is the lead breaks. Between the riveting solos that paint the frenetic bruisers that are “In This Shallow Grave” and “Blood On Your Hands”, as well as the smooth melodic candor of the neo-classical instrumental “Intermezzo Liberte”, a fair amount of Malmsteen and Kerry King influences shine through. Similarly, the largely modern sounding thrasher with a progressive edge “The Great Darkness” manages to throw in a couple 18th century musical clichés as a nod to the 80s Swedish icon that brought Bach to the metal scene.

This comes just a few inches short of finding itself in kickass territory, but this is actually a solid album considering that it coincides with a fairly massive dry spell in the Swedish death scene circa 2007. Not everything that hits pay dirt in the commercial realm deserves to be trashed, though that probably won’t stop the usual suspects from dismissing it on such grounds. If one can remember a time when In Flames and Dark Tranquillity made an effort at being animated, or when Alexi Laiho wasn’t infusing his vocal work with gimpy metalcore tendencies, this will prove to be a worthwhile reminder, though the sentimentality is accompanied by an updated sound that may come off as less than organic.

Arch Enemy "Rise of the Tyrant" - 65%

danbedrosian, March 26th, 2011

Arch Enemy has always been an epitome of great melodic death metal. I've grown tired of the Amott Brothers as they have gotten tired of being themselves. This album was not one of the few good albums.

Listening to this album gave me mixed feelings. The opening track wasn't a very good hook. It really lacked as does the rest of the album. The guitars don't sound very powerful on this album. The drums sound barely inspired and as always the bass inaudible. The lyrics aren't very good either. Their recent obsession with revolution and tyranny doesn't make very good song lyrics. It's been done before and I can stomach it on "Doomsday Machine". That album was actually good. The riffs were excellent and up to expectation. "Rise of the Tyrant" doesn't seem as so.

The Amott brothers are famous guitarists. They're known for being technically skilled. The guitar work they did on this album sucks. They don't seem to play the melodic death metal/thrash metal mix riffs they used to. It sounds like they got lazy and half-assed everything. They seem like they got tired of being titled "so awesome" by fans who are only on the ride for Gossow, and I don't mean vocally either. Not all the riffs sound melodic like they are known to write. Some riffs are acceptable but otherwise just not like the Amotts on their good albums. "Intermezzo Libertè", the album's instrumental, wasn't outstanding like all their other instrumentals. I'll hand it to them. Though I've grown tired of them and they don't appeal to me as they did they still write some excellent instrumentals. "Hybrids of Steel", from "Doomsday Machine", was epic. "Intermezzo Libertè" sounded uninspired and just thrown together. There was no real variation in the song. It was just three minutes of a clean backing riff with a bland solo trying to sound epic or at least sad as it follows the even worse "The Day You Died". The second I looked at that title I knew it was going to be lame, especially after listening to some of the album. I was right. The song sucked. If I wanted something cheesy I would gladly look up some bad power metal. By the time I got to "Vultures" I hoped it would at least redeem them. They failed horribly trying to muster up something at least melodic that wasn't melodic at all. In one of the songs they try to go early Children of Bodom on us by playing a riff that sounds neoclassical, almost like the "Ode to Joy" in Beethoven's 5th Symphony. They didn't even play all of whatever neoclassical thing they were trying to play, otherwise that riff would've been acceptable, unfortunately not exceptionable, but it ended as a tease. Also, in the beginning of the song "Rise of the Tyrant" there is a sound clip played from some movie. I don't know what movie it could be but the people sounded like they were in Congress in 1787 just by the way they spoke. It almost makes it seem like Arch Enemy is calling America a tyrant. Big deal. The band is now obsessed tyranny and it's annoying. They've lost all ability to write anything different. It's just not creative anymore.

I would like to point out that in "The Great Darkness" it sounds like they say "Satan" or "Satan- The only lord I believe in" or some shit like that. I looked at the lyrics and it had nothing to do with what I heard. So I just have to ask what the fuck? Are Angela Gossow's vocals that hard to understand I heard "Satan"? Her vocals aren't very good this time around as they were on previous albums. Near the end of the album she half-sounded like one of those deathcore singers, probably from Bring Me the Horizon or some shit.

This album had a lack of inspiration, creativity, and ability to entertain. There were some enjoyable parts. The only track I enjoyed all the way through was "In This Shallow Grave" despite some weak lyrics. It wasn't their best effort so I hope they outdo themselves on their next album set for release 1 May, 2011 worldwide. Until then we can only hope they don't release an album as unimpressive as this, and they made promises that it should be better. We'll see, I can't wait to review that album.

Far From Perfect - 57%

ImpureSoul, May 18th, 2010

Arch Enemy found their biggest success with the release of Rise of the Tyrant, which made it on the famed Billboard 200 in 84th place. It brought a lot of fans to the Gossow side and got them going for the band after the (perceived) flop of Doomsday Machine. What do I think of this album? I'll sum it up with one word:

OVERRATED.

Of course, it isn't really a surprise. Just about every melodic death metal album that comes out of Sweden nowadays is overrated in the same way. I will give it this much: while it is overrated, it isn't a total loss. This album has it's good points. For example, this album is Gossow's best vocal performance to date. The album also has a few songs that remind me of the good old days. And compared to bands that have gone downhill WAY faster than Arch Enemy under the same genre (I'm looking at you, In Flames), it holds up much better than other Swedish Melodeath albums released around the same time. So, why do I think that this album is overrated when every other fan can't get enough of it? I'll tell you.

The main problem that Arch Enemy has had since Liiva was kicked to the curb STILL persists here. The bloody repitition of the choruses.If you don't know what I mean, listen to Revolution Begins. It's the same pattern of verse-chorus-verse-chorus that's way too plain and standard. It's unquestionably the most boring and uninspired song on here. And of course, it repeats the chorus line WAY too much (another problem that's followed Arch Enemy around for a long time). Most of the songs here follow that same pattern, and it's pretty frustrating. There isn't too much to surprise you or stick out in most of the songs, when you listen to all of them in a row. It's really unfortunate too, especially when you consider that this is the band that released Stigmata and Burning Bridges. Too many of the songs keep with the same pace and use the same tricks, and that's this album's major downfall.

Now that the complaining is done, time to move on to the positives. This album starts in with 2 songs that I still consider great songs. "Blood on your Hands" and "The Last Enemy" are legitimately good songs. Not to mention the solos are pretty good too. (Not as good as the stuff from the early albums, but hey, they beat the bejesus out of the solos from Anthems). On top of that, Gossow's vocals sound really good. I'm not kidding. That's the one thing that manages to stay good for most of the album. None of the feeble growls from Anthems of Rebellion, she really manages to make a good performance. The title song is pretty good as well, but that intro is ridiculous. "This Shallow Grave" starts good, (the section from 0:29-0:49 is awesome), but it's wrecked by being repeated until it gets stale. I like the solo sections from "Vultures", and that's about all there is to this album.

Rise of the Tyrant isn't all that good, but there are things that manage to save it from being a complete failure. Some memorable songs, Gossow's vocals have improved a lot, (too bad she couldn't keep it up for Root of All Evil) and the album is MUCH more consistent than the previous Gossow releases. All in all, I say it's an average album. Not great, not terrible, but average.

Originally written for spirit-of-metal.com

A pained attempt at previous success - 21%

matt85210, January 16th, 2010

This new album by Arch Enemy is a disappointing one to review for me, if I am honest. On the one hand, in light of their recent horror stories, this is yet another chapter in their tome of predictability and serious lack of any real edge. On the other hand, this isn’t quite as jaw-droppingly awful as, say, ‘Anthems of Rebellion’ was. But it’s pretty close. And no one is more let down than I, as Arch Enemy were literally THE band that got me into metal in the first place, so to see them regurgitate such rubbish as this really does hit a nerve.

And it has been a pretty swift and unmerciful fall from grace. Remember when the Amott brothers were two of the most celebrated guitarists in the whole genre of melodic death metal (and I genuinely believe that it was not just because they just happened to be brothers)? Remember ‘Burning Bridges’? And of course, don’t forget that they were one of the first female fronted metal bands before it was cool. So… what is it that’s going wrong on albums like this?

Well, they’ve become very comfortable in the little niche that they have created for themselves, haven’t they? Nothing wrong with that. Except, there is something wrong with that. The problem is, their niche sucks. It sucks badly. Case in point: the second riff of ‘Blood On Your Hands’ or the main riff to ‘Vultures’. Speaking subjectively, I just fucking hate these little offbeat, slightly syncopated riffs they have scattered randomly throughout their later CDs. It feels like they have simply run out of ideas and this is the only thing they have left in reserve to make things interesting. The wanky and pointless ‘widdly-widdly’ bits after every verse, the crass and insincere self-empowering lyrics, the train timetable verse-chorus-verse-chorus… it’s as dull as dishwater, as it pains me to say it about a band that I used to hold in such high regard.

Despite my initial loathing of this album, there are some things I will say for Rise of the Tyrant. Firstly, the album is more consistent than their other post Wages of Sin efforts. Even though I am annoyed at the way it is employed, its pretty difficult to deny Arch Enemy’s collective musical ability. Even though you know exactly where and when the solos are about to come in (and to a certain extent what scales are going to be played), when they eventually do, they are expertly played, if instantly forgettable in terms of material. Songs like ‘In This Shallow Grave’ momentarily threaten to spark a glimmer of hope, and also– shock horror! There is some sense of musical progression on this album! Whereas on Doomsday Machine the band borrowed elements of industrial metal in the crunch of the guitar production, here they have taken on a slightly groovier approach, which may sound appealing, but only insofar as they sound a bit more like DevilDriver now.

Guys, seriously, why is this album getting so much praise? There are some real turds floating around this stagnant lake of retarded musical crap. ‘Blood On Your Hands’ is positively awash with cliché, ‘I Will Live Again’ is the very epitome of lazy and uninspired song writing, through to the token instrumental ‘Intermezzo Liberte’ track for Amott to wank all over with some needless shredding.

Rise of The Tyrant is a full on fart in the face. The punchy riffs on this album were the filler riffs from albums like Burning Bridges and Wages of Sin. I want to say that they can do better, but I am finding less and less evidence for this. With albums like Rise of The Tyrant, Arch Enemy will only ever be the band that introduces young kids to metal, and at this rate it won’t belong before the kids mature, grow up, get a clue, and move on.

Terrible but not AS terrible - 27%

Noktorn, July 23rd, 2008

I have to admit that this album isn't as bad as 'Doomsday Machine'. It's still terrible and I don't recommend you buy it at all, but it is better than the previous one. Of course, farting in my own mouth is better than 'Doomsday Machine' so I guess it's not saying much.

Essentially I'd describe this as the best you can possibly do with the elements found on 'Doomsday Machine'. Gothenburg-derived guitarwork laced with Machine Head groove, annoying mock-ferocious vocals from that retarded chimp Gossow, and generic drumwork, all tied up with the bow of painfully sterile and clean production. There's almost nothing to recommend for it except that it's 'not that bad'. Again, it's better than 'Doomsday Machine'. The guitars are kind of catchy from time to time, there's some decent riffs that don't repeat themselves for minutes on end, and the lyrics aren't quite as awful as the previous release. There are good moments on this record.

But really let me remind you that it's still an awful piece of crap. The Amott brothers haven't been generally able to write a riff to save their lives in a decade now and the trend isn't bucked particularly hard here. The vocals still suck and the music in general is as monotonous as ever, and only the most diehard fans of crappy throwback groove/Gothenburg stuff will find anything of value here. There's no point to listen to something like this when there's infinitely better melodeath IN THE SAME COUNTRY as this band. Really, the only thing that 'Rise Of The Tyrant' has going for it is that it's not quite as painful as 'Doomsday Machine'. Aside from that, it's just terrible.

Don't listen to this, don't buy it, don't think about the band, don't let Angela Gossow open her mouth under any circumstances, she's an embarrassment to us all. Actually the whole band is, let's find a pit to bury them in.

3 stepping stones across the Shit River Rapids - 40%

BastardHead, June 1st, 2008

People have been loving this album a slightly ridiculous amount. Sure, it's a step up from Anthems of Rebellion, but so is a recording of me farting in a tin can. I actually found Doomsday Machine to be surprisingly good. Not magnificent, but solid and replayable, so I would never consider it a failure. Arch Enemy's latest offering, 2007's Rise of the Tyrant starts off as easily their best work since Black Earth, but quickly descends into the utter bullshit that they have become known for.

Two of the biggest ticks that have been stuck to Arch Enemy's ass since the turn of the millennium are repetition and stagnation. A good chunk of their Gossgow material has this irritating tendency to repeat the same hooks over and over and over again until I start to look for solace in the sweet release of death. The track Revolution Begins exemplifies this so well it's almost frightening. It has this strange, glossy, happy, almost innocent tinge to it, and the melodic chorus hook is repeated ad fucking nauseum. And even if a song has a smidge of originality, it'll most likely be at the beginning of the record. Why? That stagnation I was talking about, that's why. The first two tracks, Blood on Your Hands and The Last Enemy, rank as two of the best songs the band has written since the nineties. Yet, the rest of the songs on the album rarely deviate from the style established by these first two, so why did I give this such a crappy score? Because it gets boring. The Bohemian Rhapsody is a great song, but if Queen would've recorded ten other songs just like it, the album would blow goats barring that track. This is exactly what Rise of the Tyrant manages to do. And even the songs that attempt something different (I Will Live Again) do it very very wrong and actually make me pray for more unoriginal melodeath.

Now with that said, those that are either new to the style or militant followers of the Swedish melodic death metal scene will love this. The two opening tracks and the title track are pretty much my favorite melodic death metal songs as of now, and I'm not even a huge fan of the genre, so that has to mean something. But for nearly everybody else, the startling amount of rehashes and plain blandness will get on your nerves pretty quickly. Songs like In This Shallow Grave are above average when taken out of context, but when put on this album, they are completely unmemorable. Stuff like Night Falls Fast and I Will Live Again are pedestrian and bland, a combination that only infuriates me even more.

Maybe I wouldn't hate this album as much if it didn't have qualities like the Amotts' incredible leads or furious and interesting drumming. The parts when the double bass kicks it into overdrive are extremely enjoyable and I don't think there is even one lead or solo that isn't in the top fifteen percentile of leads and solos that Mike and Chris have ever written. Maybe it seems odd that I'm commending an album for having really, really good aspects, but then at the same time condemning it for the same thing. I do this because it's frustrating. It's like snack time at my old babysitter's house. Sometimes I would get macaroni and cheese with hot dogs in it, but other times I would get pickled pig's feet (no joke). So did I learn to anticipate snack time because sometimes I got good stuff, or did I learn to despise it because of the possibility of the nasty shit I had to eat? This album is exactly the same, for every juicy lead, there is a dry and tasteless riff that is repeated four times more than it needs to be used.

And throughout this whole deal, I have yet to mention Angela's vocals. Since it seems to be law to make a special mention of her in every Arch Enemy review, I'll just say that this is probably her best performance. As sedated and mechanical as she sounded on Anthems of Rebellion, here she is equally furious and crazed. The only time she ever sounds like absolute shit (which happens at least once an album), is on the inexplicably popular track Revolution Begins.

In the end, if you can look past deja vu like the opening to Vultures and the like, you are likely to find a brilliant record. If you have an IQ above sandpaper, you'll realize that there is very little here that you haven't heard a million times before. Blood on Your Hands, The Last Enemy, and Rise of the Tyrant are all exceptional tracks and are easily the highlights of the record, seamlessly fusing the melody and intensity the way melodic death metal really should be. Everything else is either rehashed or shamelessly commercial and completely lacking in balls/integrity.

The Rise of Gossow - 85%

shatterzer0, May 24th, 2008

Alot of things have been written since 2001 when former singer Johan Liiva left Arch Enemy, most of them negative. With his replacement came the criticism, as he was replaced with none other than a woman who had only known Michael Amott briefly by interviewing him and giving him a rough demo videotape of her performances. In Amott's words though, she wiped the floor with the rest of the other singers who tried out for the lead role. Even though it came from left field in perspective, Angela Gossow does fit perfectly into the scheme of the music and brings something else no one else besides maybe Karen Axelsson from Sonic Syndicate can and that is beauty with brutality.

The sound of police sirens emerge on "Blood On Your Hands" and the band kicks into a frenzy just as quick as it ceases. What amazes me here is being a first time listener to Arch Enemy the way that Angela Gossow does fit into the music, as her death growl is almost on par with her male counterparts. If you didn't know she was female, it might take you by surprise. The song itself goes from a very fast pace to a beat oriented chorus and back again. Keeping it in the same arena, the band follow up the opener with the same ferocity and pace with "The Last Enemy" but slows the pace down in certain spots with more melodic guitar work, including an acoustic guitar outro. With "I Will Live Again" the band take it down a couple of notches for the entire song, incorporating the use of samples and slower tempo, melody based guitar work, but quickly pick it back up with "In This Shallow Grave" as it seems the band wanted to give the listener a breather of sorts. By now you're sort of realizing the whole gist of this album. As Rise of the Tyrant's vocals are more on line with the political stances of other metal groups such as Megadeth or atleast that is how I perceived it after reading several of the lyrics in the album booklet and double taking at the album name and song titles. On "Revolution Begins" the band pull it all together to make their album "anthem" so to speak (or the song that stands out the most as what could be used for commercialism.) The song itself is a pretty cool song and so is the video. Even though I'm a sucker for the more "mainstream fodder" type songs, this still carries the essence of all that is Arch Enemy in it, with solos by Michael Amott and the attributes the opening part of the record to this point carries.

Altogether this album contains alot of things that separate this band from others in the genre. I love the musicianship of the band as a whole, as they work as tight as anything I have ever heard and even though it's hard to admit, females can sing almost on par with their predecessors in the sub-genre. I think what catches me the most about this album is the way it flows together so seamlessly, almost effortlessly and yet it's a solid album throughout. Much like the Demon Hunter album Storm the Gates of Hell, it's hard to really dissect the album and pinpoint any place on it that didn't really fit. The only one thing I am kind of against and call me whatever, but I just don't like "interlude" type tracks as it could be replaced so easily with another track of more magnitude. All in all though, this is a solid effort and well worth the money.

Their best album yet. - 90%

infinitenexus, January 22nd, 2008

I've listen to Arch Enemy in the past, however I always hated Liiva's pathetic attempt at vocals, so I never listened much. Their previous works with Angela were good, however her vocals weren't that much better (at least they're harsher and more fitting) and the music seemed slightly... Well, boring. Now along comes Rise of the Tyrant, and I must say I'm blown away.

Michael has started using Randall amplifiers, and his tone is huge and in your face. The guitar playing on this album is fantastic, maybe more melodic than their previous efforts, however that is what Arch Enemy is - a blending of beauty and brutality. Angela has greatly improved her vocals, now fitting excellently with the rest of the music. As far as the music itself, I would give it a 95-100. I listen to it constantly.

Every album has it's weak points, and this is no exception. The drums are far too quiet. Blasting it in my car, I hear guitars and vocals galore, and even the bass is definitely present. However aside from the high-hat, the drums seem almost absent. It's as if someone turned the volume knob down or something. Also, maybe this is just me, but the song "Revolution Begins" sounds kinda 80s-esque, especially during the verse.

Poor mixing not withstanding, this is an excellent melodic death metal album, in my opinion one of the best ever. Many so-called melodic death metal bands play typical death metal, complete with a cookie-cutter death growl and throw in a guitar harmony or two and consider themselves melodic, but Arch Enemy shows how to truly play the genre: fast and hard, but never sacrificing melody.

Best tracks - #2 The Last Enemy and #4 In This Shallow Grave.

Glad it's not Doomsday anymore - 100%

PerpetualCatatonia, January 17th, 2008

With the release of 2005's Doomsday Machine, Arch Enemy had left me pretty disappointed. Before then I had already heard Wages of Sin, Anthems of Rebellion, Black Earth and Stigmata. Doomsday Machine seemed so plain and repetitive when compared to the rest. Few songs stood out to me and most felt like they had little effort or feeling put into them. Despite all of that, I was still excited to find out that Arch Enemy had released a new album while I had been away from home.


I decided to pick up their album while browsing for others. I hoped that it would be something better than Doomsday Machine. So I got to my room and popped it in. At first, I wasn’t very impressed. I was wondering if maybe they we’re just going downhill. I decided to give the album a few more tries, and with every listen I recognized the riffs and solos a little better. I must have just been biased because of Doomsday, because I soon came to love the album.


Like most albums or bands that I listen to, one of the first things that started to bring me in was the guitar work. I couldn’t believe how well done it was. It seemed much more like their older style, a newer Wages of Sin if you will. The way Chris and Michael lead from a melodic riff to a shredding solo is perfectly done. They seem to have the perfect mixture of technicality and melody in this album. For the solo lover, songs like “In This Shallow Grave”, “Blood on Your Hands” and “The Last Enemy”, are strongly recommended though all of the songs have solid guitars and display their tremendous talent.


Later on I started to notice how well the vocals were done. I know many think that Angela could never live up to what Johan did, but I think the very opposite. She’s much more dynamic and has more pitches than just one for every song. She’s much more furious on this album and a lot rawer as well. With the effects cut out, she’s able to show more feeling and avoid sounding like the actual machine on Doomsday. With harsher growls and higher-pitched shrieks, this album is definitely her best work yet.


It’s pretty needless to say that this album has completely blown me away. 2007 has had a few gems, with this being one of the best melodic death metal releases. Arch Enemy has produced a darker and more polished sound on what seems to be a flawless album. This is definitely a step in another, better direction for Arch Enemy.

Incredible but flawed - 90%

Room101, January 6th, 2008

This is my first Arch Enemy album, so I won't be comparing it to any other of their albums. What I will be doing, is laying everything down bluntly. This album has some absolutely incredible songs, and the formulae are all there, but I must say this album sometimes borders on apathy and repetitiveness.

The high rating I have given this album is mainly due to flawless masterpieces "Blood On Your Hands", and "Revolution Begins", rightly chosen as singles for the album. Also high up in the hierarchy are "The Last Enemy", "In This Shallow Grave", and "The Day You Died", which all could be moderately improved, such as the former, which could have an more interesting introduction riff, and the riffs under the solos could be better and more fitting instead of just variating the main riffs, and so on. It sounds petty to point out such things, but if they rerecorded this in a few years and fixed the weak points, then this album would be absolutely perfect. I have noticed this in quite a bit of Arch Enemy's music, from listening to songs like "Dead Eyes See No Future" and "Nemesis" which, although they rule outright, they could be improved which would make that little bit of difference.

The skill is all here. The newly reunited Amott brothers shred furiously, almost in the vein of the master ripper Yngwie Malmsteen. The sweep picking after the bridge riff in "Revolution Begins" is immense. Sharlee's bass is very tight with the rest of the music, and Daniel's drumming, although evidently triggered, is spot on. Angela sounds less monotomous than she does on what I have heard of her older music, leaving out all of the double recording shit, and she sounds quite remeniscant of Jeff Walker (Carcass). But the lyrics in most places, are quite simple. In my views, the lyrics to opener "Blood On Your Hands" are the king point of the album where the lyrics are concerned. Also, in virtuoso closer "Vultures", she goes really high, as if to growl a falsetto, which is very well done.

The most of this album is memorable, apart from "Night Falls Fast" and "The Great Darkness" which I have listened to many times and can only remember that they were okay. What was surprising, though, was the title track. That, in my opinion, has to be one of the highlights or representatives of the album, but here, it is nothing special. It has a huge intro from some movie, and then goes in to a big wall of sound the way I'm concerned. Worth mentioning, though, is the mellow interlude "Intermezzo Liberté", which is a sub-three minute instrumental melodic-doom metal break from all the fast stuff. It is quite enjoyable, unlike many instrumental interlude songs, like Morbid Angel's "Nar Mattaru" from the album Covenant, Nile's "Infinity of Stone" from Ithyphallic, and Meshuggah's "Acrid Placidity" from Destroy Erase Improve.

All in all, though, this is a pretty good album. I would recommend it to anyone who wants an album full of catchy melodic riffs and killer solos.

If you want some taster material, download "Blood On Your Hands" or "Revolution Begins".

Satisfactory - 84%

invaded, October 31st, 2007

Arch Enenemy had been waning since about 2003 when AOR came out. That record was alright, but considering it came out after the mighty Wages of Sin, it paled in comparison. The last record Doomsday Machine was not spectacular either, although not complete tripe. However with this year's Rise of the Tyrant, their WOS sound is back, and fans couldn't be happier, myself included.

There seems to be a cohesion here that was absent on the last record, maybe it's because of Chris Ammott's return to the lineup but there is an energy that was lacking on the last record.

For one, Angela sounds a hell of a lot better. From what I hear the band went for a a very natural sound, no effects or extra crap, so that is her voice, pure and simple. You can definitely sense that she's pissed and rocking out. Also her lyrics are not that bad, the revolution theme constantly being one of the band's staples.

The guitar tone is huge, walls of sound hitting the listener whenever possible. The leads are sweet, especially Chris Ammott,s leads which always have a bit of burn in them it seems.The drums are also huge, adding to the overall energy and tone of the record. Erlandsson also delivers a fine performance, this man is an extremely tight musician and isn't afraid to show his chops and compete with the Ammott bros and Miss Gossow for spotlight considerations.

It's the songwriting however which is most improved. Tracks such the opener "Blood on Your Hands", "The Last Enemy", the title track as well as the very Yngwie sounding closer "Vultures" all kick the listener square in the face and rarely relent. Gone are the boring tracks or the wankfests the band was starting to be known for. There is very little fat left to be trimmed on this record as the band went for an all killer-no filler attitude.

The band has basically just made Wages II, and I for one am glad they did. This is an Arch Enemy I can once again appreciate.

No, I'm not going to make a "Rise" joke - 90%

RedMisanthrope, October 1st, 2007

Love them or hate them, Arch Enemy have returned for the throne of 2007 heavy metal. Did they conquer the other pretenders for ultimate metal supremacy? No. Did they manage to release a sold slab of metal? Oh yes they did! Is this one of my favorite releases of '07? You better believe it.

Going into this I was not an Arch Enemy fan at all. I thought "Wages of Sin" was a neat album, but "Doomsday Machine" left a very bitter taste in my mouth with so many throw away tracks it made Lamb of God's "Sacrament" look like a "best of" release. When "Blood on Your Hands" was released to the public I had an apathy attack and was bitterly reminded of "Doomsday Machine". When I actually listened to the song though I saw the my judgement was hasty indeed. Blaring sirens start the track off and I knew I was in for a ride. All I could say was, "Finally, they got it right".

The trademark Amott wall of guitars is certainly present in this opener and wailing solos are most definitely the order of the day. The drums are little less extreme this time around and unfortunately the bass takes a backseat (as usual). And then there's Angela. Oh, sweet Angela. Say what you will about her, I think she's brilliant. Wheather she's calling for a revolution or just spitting out lines for the hell of it, her reptilian voice certainly gets it point across.

Despite the very minor flaws of "Blood on Your Hands" I ran out and got the album and was definitely in for a surprise. Songs like "The Last Enemy" and "Rise of the Tyrant" (the heaviest song on the album) are instant classics in the Arch Enemy catalog and the entire album itself just has a much more consistent feel to it. Throughout the entire disc the guitars rarely let up with some very memorable solos and melodies, the drum fills are superb and the bass...well it's still pretty much in the background. I didn't say it was completely consistent.

There are still hints of the experimentation that ran rampant on "Doomsday Machine" as well. But unlike "Doomsday Machine" the experimentation this time around doesn't hinder the overall feel of the album. "I Will Live Again" features a very haunting opening melody that is the basis for which the riffs are constructed around. Not a good idea on paper but the melody is actually very good and I find myself going back to that track just to hear it. "The Great Darkness" also features so apocalyptic choir work which is nice, but at some points doesn't match up with the song so well.

Despite my great praise the album does have a bit of "been here, done that" syndrome towards the end and the last track isn't memorable at all besides the soloing.

This album does absolutely nothing different or revolutionary, but that doesn't mean that something that has been done before can't still be done well. This is a good album and probably my most pleasant surprise of the year. It has great solos, awesome vocals, and is just flat out heavy. Isn't that what metal is all about anyways? Buy this album.

Stand out tracks: "Blood On Your Hands", "The Last Enemy", "I Will Live Again", "Rise of the Tyrant"

Simply- They're back. - 96%

Apollonia, September 29th, 2007

After the rather dissappointing release in 2005 of 'Doomsday Machine' which was littered with double vocals and boring riffs, Arch Enemy need an album that returns to their original sound, shows their true creativity, shows their true brutality.
This is that album, and hell it's good.


The first track, Blood on Your Hands, was released via Myspace and their Century Media account a couple of month before the album release, and has been eagerly listened to by fans all over the world. The track is openly brutal, with a blisteringly fast riff, supported by fast, pounding, technical drumming that is perfectly executed. Angela's vocals were a major issue last album, but this clears any theories that she's only capable of double vocals, her roar is the strongest I've heard, it has a lot more voice to it than previous albums, and thus conveys a lot more of the emotion she's trying to get across, every time I hear the gutteral 'Remember!' on this track, it makes me shiver!


The Last Enemy is even more brutal than the track before, it's like a wall of metal hitting you in the face when this track kicks in, with it's machine gun-like double bass drumming and fast riffing.

The other notable songs on this album include I Will Live Again, which is alot more melodic than the other songs on the album, perhaps showing that Arch Enemy are taking into account the popularity of the old style of the original albums such as Stigmata and Burning Bridges. Revolution Begins is to be a single and video, and you can see why! It's a straight up fight song, and will be a lot more appealing to wider audiences, without displeasing the original fan base. Intermezzo Liberte, the album's instrumental, is quite frankly, epic in style. If there's any one song that makes you want to raise a lighter (or mobile phone these days...) into the air, it's this one.


So, Arch Enemy have returned to their original sound, there isn't a bad track on the album, and Angela has done marvels with her voice. So why haven't I given it 100%? There's some issues with the production on this album, for some reason the drums are mixed so that the snare is barely audible at times, buried beneath a wall of double bass barrage. This is something that the old albums suffered from, when Arch Enemy returned to their original sound, they apparently killed the snare again. The guitar sometimes sounds either too powerful, so it comes out as a big ball of fuzz, or too thin, so the solos don't quite have the impact they should do, even if they are written and played perfectly by two extremely talented individuals. And the bass is also buried underneath everything else that is happening around it, until it's just a background hum.

But these issues don't distract from the talent of the album, this is my favourite Arch Enemy album to date, and one thing's for sure. They're back.

Rise of My Disappointment - 20%

corviderrant, September 28th, 2007

I don't believe this...I'm actually panning an Arch Enemy album. And I am sorry to say that this particular one deserves it.

The production is too weak, for starters. Like on Dimmu Borgir's recent album, Daniel's snare is buried beneath a flotilla of annoying triggered kick drum activity. Does Fredrik Nordstrom not like drums anymore or something? It sounds that way if this is any indicator. The guitars do have some presence and bite, and the bass is still nice and distorted, though buried more than it's been in the past. Disappointing factor to say the least. It only adds to the weakness and lack of impact on this album.

The music? Uninspired and they sound as though they're going through the motions on this album. Another reviewer mentioned evidence of rehashing songs on their part, and they're right: "Blood on Your Hands" is a pallid retread of "Enemy Within" and "The Last Enemy" is "Ravenous" all over again, only lacking the rabid intensity that made that song special. The riffs are tired and not as catchy as what the Brothers Amott have written before. Even the leads aren't as passionate as before, a VERY bad thing in the AE universe. The overall lack of enthusiasm on this album is upsetting. The only positive thing I can say here is that at least they seem to have jettisoned the stomp rock Ozzfest trappings on this album. But unfortunately at the cost of re-visiting a sound they've outgrown, the old style of melodic death metal they helped pioneer.

It was a chore listening to this album, much as it was trying to find redeeming qualities about "In Sorte Diaboli" earlier this year. Even after several listens, I was throughly unimpressed. And I am sad to say that. I know AE can do better than this, they have before. Therefore, I will chalk this up as a failure and only hope that they get the riff machine going again next outing as well as re-examining where they are, where they want to go, and whether they can bother to put out an album on a par with "Wages of Sin", my personal watermark for AE albums, again.

I suspect there is burnout setting in in the AE camp, if this album is any indicator, and either a break or a breakup is a solution to this. If they keep releasing sub-par efforts like this, maybe the Ozzfest crowd will like it, but I won't be bothered to continue supporting them. And it pains me to say that.

Rise of the Gimmick - 45%

zeingard, September 28th, 2007

If my review of Dark Tranquillity's gothenburg abortion, "Fiction" has taught me a lesson it's that hating an album for abusing keyboards in a genre famous for abusing keyboards is like chastising a bogan for going to Centrelink; how else are they going to afford to get shifaced? So here I am reviewing another infamous band on the gothenburg scene and definitely one of the most popular amongst seasoned metalheads and posers alike; Arch Enemy and this year they bring along their album "Rise of the Tyrants". More like "Rise of the Profits" amirite? Regardless Arch Enemy started off on the right foot and managed to put out 3 and half decent albums before they realised having a chick singer is the ultimate gimmick and simply making sure every fucktard is well aware of this fact means you can't play like shite but sell records because "She's hot lulz". For the record I'd rather coat my dick in pollen and jam it in a hive full of angry wasps than place it anywhere near Ms.Gossow's gaping maw of a chasm. Mankind is not ready to travel to other planets and I doubt we'll see in our lifetime whether they'd be willing to plumb those depths. Enough bollocks though, the album is for the most part tripe. Whilst it is a step up from the mind-numbingly mediocre "Doomsday Machine" and the outright vile "Anthems of Rebellion" that isn't really saying much in the grand scheme of things; an ADD child armed with a pot, pan and scourer could make more adept music than found on either of those albums.

First things first: Angela Gossow please either learn to sing or shut the fuck up. Now I can smell the cries of "CHAUVANIST!!!11!!" coming from my network port but she hasn't really improved since her last efforts. She's bearable when singing around mid to low range but as soon as she starts to rasp or go for anything with definition she sounds like a cat that's gone half way through a laser printer. And as for the rest of you: yes she has tits, get over it. Put down the kleenex and listen to Evile or High on Fire's latest album. Secondly: Stop writing songs like "I Will Live Again" and "The Day You Died". I mean it, now, stop it. Those two abominations are fucking abhorrent and probably the worst metal songs I've heard since that fateful afternoon I decided that Sepultura's "Roots" must have some redeeming quality and tried to listen to it. NEVER AGAIN. Terrible riffs, emo lyrics and playing at anything less than FUCKING 11 is not metal.

The salvation of this album lies in the solos being above decent, in fact the lead work in general is pretty fucking spiffy and I can say it brought some joy to my loins. Despite the title song starting off with a shitty sample and then moving with a coma inducing riff that short but sweet solo exchange brought the score of this album up considerably. Some of the more melodic lead sections are pretty clichéd and nothing you haven't heard before they do manage to make the album more 'sparkly' and 'interesting' in general. "The Last Enemy" also has some great lead work; unfortunately they really enjoyed abusing guitar harmonies which essentially ruined the rest of the song. "The Great Darkness" has some of the best lead work I've heard out of the Amott brothers in a long time despite the song having one of the worst choruses I've heard in a long time, that back-up chanting and pathetic excuse for a riff is grating to the point of wanting to smash my headphones in a drawer.

For the most part the riffs are average, there's nothing that stands out and screams originality or metal. It's all fairly stock-standard melodic death riff that bastardises everything that thrash stood for, and whilst they carry the songs it'd be nice to actually see a nice flow of riffs instead of those awkward sudden break outs of melodic parts. The choruses are pretty terrible overall, choosing to accentuate the vocals, pushing the guitars back to playing either something melodic or bashing the guitar every couple of seconds so that we know they're still 'playing' them. One song that displays this accurately is "The Last Enemy", the first riff and even the following riff actually work really well and I could feel the desire to headbang but they lead into melodic sort of gay chorus that kills the buzz and cocks the entire flow. There's some nice tremolo picking before the solo sections which works and the solos themself are well played, and even the tremolo picking afterwards works! Holy shit fuck, then they move into more soloing! Being Arch Enemy they decide that being metal isn't cool and end the whole thing with a slow, melodic section; it fails hard.

So if you had a massive boner after listening to "Fiction" and aren't sure what to do with it, find a picture of Angela Gossow and listen to this album. I'm sure you'll be smiling for at least a minute or two until you're ready to go again. For those of us who don't subscribe to the reprehensible scene that brought us obscenity peddlers such as In Flames and Soilwork need not apply. Go listen to Evile's "Enter the Grave", it's thrash-fucking-tastic.

I Actually Love This Album - 96%

ict1523, September 16th, 2007

I was very critical of Arch Enemy's last album...I thought it was experimental and mainstream at the same time, but this time, its clear the sound is heavier, darker, and more intense, and the album definitely is much less mainstream.

The album is rather heavy, the riffs while they do have melody, manage to sound very dark, Angela delivery is a bit more varied and at times she sounds even more like a male. And the solos, Arch Enemy's albums have always been filled with them, but I feel like there are even more solos on this album and that they are very ranged and melodic. Now at first, I didn't like this sound, and thought Arch Enemy kept losing their direction, but I kept giving this album chances, and its probably grown more on me than any other album in recent listening...I'd say its a hard album to get or understand but once you do everything seems to connect and make sense.

Some highlights? Well I love most songs on this album, but I'll focus on a few..."Blood on Our Hands" is a great opener, starts off with a fast guitar riff and the song explodes with nice drumming and an angry growl from Angela. This is one of the faster songs on the album, also one of the heaviest, Angela's vocals here are definitely powerful...the solo in this song is also fabulous...speedy, high-pitched, and ranges from high to low...

"The Last Enemy" is a good song, also a fast and heavy song. Another intense and powerful vocal deliver from Angela. One of the solos in this song (there's more than one in most songs) is great for its thin but intense and speedy sounds...the other is more of a melodic solo. "Revolution Begins" is another good song, but it does sound more mainstream geared, with a slower pace, and the song isn't as heavy, but what it lacks for in heaviness it makes up for in melody.

"Intermezzo Liberte" is a superb instrumental, I have always loved Arch Enemy instrumentals as they feature some awesome music, melodies and solos included. This is no different. We have a fairly nice melodic melody that starts off with acoustic guitar and slowly builds up with the heavier guitar and drums coming in. The guitar solo in here which takes up about a minute is also a superb one, it also goes from slow and melodic to a thinner but higher-pitched and faster paced sound before it slows down again. Very nicely executed instrumental. A lot of bands have instrumentals that really don't do anything for me and I see them as filler, but with Arch Enemy, they are just as enjoyable if not more than regular songs.

"Vultures" is the last highlight I'll cover, and boy is it a song. At 6:35, it is one of the longest Arch Enemy songs and I enjoy every second of this song. I'd be willing to bet 40-50% of this song is soloing, and the other half or so is just as good with very nice dark riffs and brutal angry vocals from Angela. This song almost has a thrash feel to it, some of the solos have very strange, almost unpleasant melodies, but to my ear the strange sound is what makes the solo incredible, hell they remind me of some Kreator solos from "Pleasure to Kill"...just abstract melodies that are totally unlike what we've seen from Arch Enemy the past few years...overall an awesome song.

As for the negatives, there aren't many, but I find the intro to "Rise of the Tyrant" silly as its spoken. I also don't like the lyrics in part of the verses to "I Will Live Again"...I can actually understand what Angela is saying here and it sounds stupid, something about "Is it me or is it you? Look in the mirror, who do you see?", but this is really nitpicking, and I am resorted to pointing out these small faults, as I can't see any other ones...

So to review...More brutal sounds, my favorite Angela vocal delivery on this album, abundant intense and speedy solos, this album has it all. My favorite Arch Enemy album despite the somewhat different sound. I don't know much about Arch Enemy previous to "Anthems of Rebellion", but I dare say this album sounds a bit more like their older stuff, especially with regards to the solos. Wonderfully executed album, and if you don't like it at first, give it another chance, its a grower. After Doomsday Machine I didn't even want to listen to this album, thought they chose and would stick to their more mainstream and shitty gothenburg sound, but I was wrong. Hell this doesn't even sound anywhere near a regular gothenburg or melodic death album...

Rise Of Arch Enemy - 98%

darkreif, September 15th, 2007

It seems as though with the last few releases in Arch Enemy's catalog ("Anthems of Rebellion", "Doomsday Machine") that the band had been experimenting with melodies, rhythms, and overall different approaches to their style of Melodic Death Metal. Despite their experimentation they have continued to garner legions of new fans without really ever losing their main fanbase. Yet, many wondered how their next release would sound. Would they continue to experiment or return to their original paths? With the release of "Rise of the Tyrant", Arch Enemy seem to have set doubters in their place with a return to original form but with a new found outlook at how to write it.

"Rise Of The Tyrant" is darker, more sinister, and overall just more ferocious then any of the previous releases that feature Angela Gossow on the vocal duties. The band sounds in a better shape and mindset for the release of such a startling and enjoyable album. Fans of the original guitar dueling between the Amott brothers are going to get heavy dose of the brothers true art form on the album. Their combined efforts push the riffs to breakneck speeds and the leads to finger bleeding beauty as they swiftly and expertly trade off. To hear Chris Amott back with Arch Enemy is indeed a sweet relief especially after hearing the awesome chemistry that the brothers have on "Rise Of The Tyrant."

It's always mind-boggling to hear Angela Gossow tear through the songs. Her ability to blend diverse and brutal vocals never ceases to astound me as she pushes her own limits on the album. Sounding even more pissed off than before (which is hard to believe considering her previous work) she strips her vocals down to their primal forms and lets loose a cannon of guttural roars that put most Death Metal vocalists to shame. Gone are most of the layered vocals which give the album a very distinct "live" and raw feeling that suits the band quite well for the release.

Don't be afraid though that the band has de-evolved though. They may have reincorporated an older style to write this album but they don't forget the steps they have taken with their last few albums either. "I Will Live Again" uses a significant amount of synth lines in the song and a large amount of the focus is placed on the groove of the song. "Revolution Begins" is a catchy (and radio friendly) effort that really incorporates the lessons that Arch Enemy learned from their "Anthems of Rebellion" release. So expect a good mix from "Rise Of The Tyrant."

Arch Enemy are at the top of their game with this latest release. And the entire band sounds as if they are on the same page for the first time in while. "Rise Of The Tyrant" is the best collection of music the band has created in years. Not to mention it's one of the best albums of the year in Metal.

Songs to check out: "Blood On Your Hands", "Rise Of The Tyrant", "Vultures".

Rise! The Tyrants Rise! - 93%

Mark_Palangio, August 18th, 2007

When Arch Enemy decided to replace vocalist Johan Liiva with Angela Gossow back in November of 2000, many people thought bringing in a female vocalist was just a gimmick. Gossow soon proved that she wasn’t a gimmick, but Arch Enemy just wasn’t the same without Johan to a lot of long time fans, including myself. With Rise Of The Tyrant, I can safely say it’s the best album Arch Enemy has recorded with Angela in the band, and also the best album they’ve released since Burning Bridges.

What makes this album different from their previous few albums (Wages Of Sin, Anthems Of Rebellion, and Doomsday Machine) is the fact that the band seems to have went back to their older style a bit. What I mean by that is more aggressive riffs, more subtle synth sections, and more catchy melodies throughout the songs. Doomsday Machine was filled with lots of crazy solos, but I thought it lacked on the melodies that the Amott brothers are famous for. There’s no shortage of them in Rise Of The Tyrant however. The opening song, “Blood On Your Hands,” has one of the most epic sounding melodies I’ve ever heard. It’s also the best song on the album, and one of the best songs the band has ever written. It would honestly fit in perfectly on Stigmata or Burning Bridges. I would just love to hear Johan come back and do the vocals for that song, but the chances of that ever happening are pretty nonexistent. Some of the riffs here and there will even remind you a bit of Heartwork era Carcass stuff. Those riffs are pretty few and far between, but it’s still cool to hear some stuff like that again. Other songs like “The Last Enemy,” “I Will Live Again,” “Rise Of The Tyrant,” and “The Day You Died” have really memorable melody lines as well.

One main reason I think this album is a bit of a throwback to their older style is the fact that the band went back to Studio Fredman to record with famed producer Fredrik Nordstrom. Considering the band recorded their first 4 albums (Black Earth, Stigmata, Burning Bridges, and Burning Japan) there, it’s no surprise that this album turned out the way it did. The production on Rise Of The Tyrant is also very different than any of the bands previous albums, and especially different from their old albums recorded at Studio Fredman. The guitars have a huge, thick midrange crunch to them, and the low end frequencies are no longer overwhelming. More importantly, Angela’s vocals are no longer drenched in layers upon layers of effects, which makes her sound significantly better. Overall the production is exactly what you would expect from Nordstrom, perfection.

There’s really nothing negative I can say about this album. It does take a couple listens to really appreciate though. After listening through the first time, I wasn’t really that impressed aside from “Blood On Your Hands.” After a few more listens I started liking it more and more though, and now I love it. There are no bad songs on the album, and there are more great songs than good songs, but I really wish every song would have been as good as the opening track.

If you’re a big fan of Arch Enemy’s older albums and have been disappointed with their material since Angela joined the band, this is definitely an album worth picking up. I’m not saying this album is better than Stigmata or Burning Bridges, but it’s definitely got the feel of those older albums.

That sounded familiar... - 65%

karma_sleeper, August 1st, 2007

I like Arch Enemy. I really do. You might even call me a fan. But I still have mixed feelings about this album. On the one hand, it is very monotonous. It’s hard to differentiate one track from the next. On the other, there are a lot of catchy melodies and some OK songs. I’d like to think this album is a step up from “Anthems of Rebellion” and “Doomsday Machine” but I wouldn’t go that far.

“Rise of the Tyrant” is a bit like a less painful “Anthems” and a less diverse “Wages of Sin.” The track “Night Falls Fast” on “Rise of the Tyrant” uses a nearly identical riff to “End of the Line” on the “Anthems” album. This called to my mind Nickelback’s song recycling. That’s right – I just drew a comparison between Arch Enemy and Nickelback. Normally I would find something like this pleasantly nostalgic, but since “Anthems of Rebellion” was such a mundane release, it just makes me nauseous. You won’t find much variety between songs, either. I can’t stay interested when listening to this album. It’s just the same thing over and over. The reviewer above me was right in pointing out that you’ve heard this album before. Another strange bit about this new album is the use of choirs. They don’t detract from the songs, but they feel really out of place. When I think of Arch Enemy, I don’t envision creepy chants in the background. It sounds strange and unnecessary.

On the plus side, I really enjoyed a lot of the leads in the songs. Despite what we may think of recent trends, the Amott brothers are talented guitarists and I continue to enjoy their shredding, ear bleeding assaults. Angela’s vocals remain strong on this album but sound different than usual. I can’t quite put my finger on it. She sounds more manly if that’s at all possible. Did I mention the sleeve art was neat? Sorry, I feel like I have to say something good to balance out all the bad.

If you really love Arch Enemy despite their last two releases, then you will continue to love Arch Enemy despite “Rise of the Tyrant.” Hell, you may even enjoy it. To those less clouded by blind devotion, you’re better off avoiding this one or waiting for a sale. It’s all been done before and Arch Enemy has taken a moment to remind us of that with their latest CD. Shameless riff recycling and ultimately boring guitars mark the core of this album. Angela’s vicious screams and heavy doses of melody can do nothing to salvage what could have been a decent and fun album.