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Arch Enemy - Wages of Sin - 80%

Orbitball, August 27th, 2011

By far, Arch Enemy's first 3 releases in my opinion are their best. This is the only album by the band where I can tolerate Angela Gossow's vocal outputs. Johan Liiva, their previous vocalist, was for the most part, the most well suited for the band. His voice didn't drown out the melodic guitar riffs. He was supposedly kicked out of the band for failing to perform well during Arch Enemy's live performances. Damn shame.

The opening features soft piano bits which then segues into the band's march of awesome melodic death metal. There are so many riffs that really stand out here, but some clean guitar that I didn't think too highly of. The music throughout the album is filled with bits of melodies which are stunning and captivating. What caught me the most was track 2 entitled "Burning Angel."

Angela's hoarse throat on here is still annoying, but less so then more recent releases. On here, she doesn't use many vocal effects to block out the Amott's keen guitar. Her voice is hoarse, but not so hoarse that you can't hear the music. It's very difficult to have the band relying on her as the lead vocalist. As I've previously mentioned, her voice bothers the hell out of me.

There are many segments of music on here that is quite original and sticks to you, as "Burning Angel" does for me. A good follow up from "Burning Bridges", but not as worthy as that album is for me. I'd say for most of the album with exceptions didn't impact me very much mainly because of the vocals and a lot of the guitars are just aren't as good.

A lot of the wah-pedal was used by Michael Amott and was good on some songs, but I think that he used it a little bit too much. Christopher Amott's leads aren't as striking as on previous albums. I think that most of the riffs are good, however, they could've been better than they actually were on here. The guitars could've meshed better with Angela's throat. I don't think that they put in enough time to weave in the guitars with the voice.

As far as the production goes, I'd say that all of the instruments were well mixed in together to the point to where you can hear everything. The bass guitar could've been a bit louder, but you still can hear it some. Angela's vocals aren't as loud on here, so you can still hear the guitars. I'd say that the guitars could've been a bit chunkier like on "Stigmata."

This release is a good output and worth getting. I've waived out some things that needed to be discussed discreetly so you know what to expect. To me, the last good Arch Enemy release definitely legitimately investing in. The guitars are the highlights as always, but Angela really doesn't fit the band's melodic twists. Johan is deeply missed and the band isn't the same without him.