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Another classic - 100%

Writhingchaos, January 28th, 2016

Here's the deal guys: as far as consistency is concerned (a problem with their later Gossow era albums), this album along with Stigmata and Burning Bridges is them at their peak exploding with intensity, integrity and innovation. This was the golden age of melodeath fellas, and rest assured these guys played their part in bringing the genre to its creative height along with Soilwork, Carcass, Edge Of Sanity, Dark Tranquillity and (old!) In Flames.

Let’s face it, with Arch Enemy it’s always been about the guitars and the Amott brothers kill it as usual unleashing a storm of riffs and wild shredding kicking your ass all the way back to hell where it truly belongs. I mean of course I have my particular favourites from the album, but every single song stand out and slays from beginning to end, no exceptions. The first song I heard was "Enemy Within" entranced by the beautiful piano intro and by the next hour, I found myself humming the verse riff kicking off around 1: 25. Try getting that one out of your heard, I dare you.

"Burning Angel" also opens with some awesome leads scorching the riffs on top carrying the intensity to the very top. Both "Ravenous" and "Heart Of Darkness" have some of the most mosh-worthy opening riffs, guaranteed to ensure permanent neck and spine trauma afterwards. The beautiful melodic section at 2:33 on "Ravenous" is to die for and the guitar licks in "The First Deadly Sin" and “Savage Messiah” are too damn addictive to ignore. "Web Of Lies" is one vicious chugathon slowly ripping your flesh off piece by piece. And “Snow Bound” is truly a beautiful evocative instrumental. Any brain-dead twat who claims the Amotts just mindlessly shred without feel, point him to this song! And if that still doesn’t convince him, he’s probably dead inside so you can tell him to continue listening to his rap/hip hop crap.

The only time the band probably slow down is the intro of "Savage Messiah" finally exploding into the main verse riff at around the 1 minute mark making way for an even more phenomenal set of riffs finally leading into the earth-shattering chorus where you will get down on your knees howling "Savage!! Messiah!! Take us!! higher!! Savage!! Messiah!! Take us!! Now!!". Trust me the song does have that effect, believe it or not. This is definitely my personal favourite song from the album, using a dark and brooding atmosphere to great effect.

All in all one of my first melodic death metal albums and it has yet to lose its lustre or charm. I mean every fucking song hits you like a ten ton hammer and forces you to mosh you goddamn brains out while the melodies stick to your brain like superglue. Just what melodeath was meant to do in the first place. Not the scene today, with bands tainting the sound with alternative and pop metal influences (cough*In Flames*cough). Nothing much more to say folks. A true classic of melodic death metal, period. Oh and the solos rule. But hey you knew that already.

Standout tracks: All of them! But okay, particularly - Enemy Within, Heart Of Darkness, Savage Messiah, The First Deadly Sin and Dead Bury Their Dead.