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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.