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Why isn't the rest of the album this good? - 85%

PorcupineOfDoom, September 19th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, Digital, Century Media Records

Firstly, I have already reviewed the complete album of the same name. However, I felt that the title track was so much better than the rest of the album that it was necessary for it to have its own review. The rest of the album just doesn't do justice to this song (who thought we'd ever hear that sentence?).

Like many other people, I wasn't looking forward to this album with 40% of the famously solid lineup changed. As a result I didn't listen to track as soon as it was released and I certainly wasn't going to pre-order the album. However, after listening to the song my opinion changed. The song was a nice surprise given my low expectations, and I honestly thought that maybe the lineup changes had done the band some good. Was it as good as the best point on 'Wages Of Sin'? No. But was it better than what 'Khaos Legions' had to offer? Definitely. 'Khaos Legions' was an okay album, but that's all it was. It was nowhere near as bad as some people will have you believe, but it certainly wasn't the band's finest work. It didn't look like it was going to much trouble to surpass that mark with the new album (although sadly that didn't turn out to be the case).

Alissa's gutturals aren't quite as good as Angela's in my opinion, but they far outclass those of original vocalist Johan Liiva. If nothing else, they are at least listenable without thinking how much better the music would have been without them being there. As for the guitars, Michael Amott delivers his usually solid performance with a nice mix of heavy chugs and melodic leads (as well as a kick-ass solo, as per usual). The replacement for the other half of the Amott brothers, Nick Cordle from Arsis, does a surprisingly good job (no disrespect to him, but he had big shoes to fill and I wasn't expecting him to manage to fill them). To be honest, you wouldn't have known it wasn't Christopher playing if it hadn't been for the fact that he'd announced his departure already. As for Sharlee and Daniel, they also deliver their usual kind of quality with Daniel's pounding beats in the background of the music keeping time nicely, although Sharlee's work is once again all but drowned out by everything else that is going on.

This track shows just what the band is capable of, unlike the rest of the album. I mean, it won Metal Hammer's award for best metal anthem for fuck's sake! Unless every other track entered for that award was utter shite (which I highly doubt), surely they must have done something right with 'War Eternal'. So one question remains then: why on Earth is the rest of the album so bad? They'd done something right to the point that this song might be considered by some one of AE's all-time great songs, so what happened to the rest of the album?