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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!