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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.