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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.