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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.