Arch Enemy
The Root of all Evil


2.0
poor

Review

by Jake C. Taylor USER (89 Reviews)
October 6th, 2009 | 55 replies | 12,295 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An attempt to surpass the past and add another nail in Johan Liiva’s coffin...

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

The cyclical debate of Angela Gossow’s superiority to Johan Liiva in Arch Enemy’s vocal division will unquestionably be taken to the grave. It’s an aged squabble that left fans divided on 2001’s Wages of Sin, only to be made successful by cutting edge instrumentation inscribed on earlier stones. Liiva is certainly departed, but there’s a revived significance in this argument during The Root of All Evil. In a year where they’ve elegantly compiled a greatest hits of music from 2001 onward through Manifesto of Arch Enemy, resourcefully reissued (though not unexpectedly) their first three albums, they’ve also gone in so far as releasing this: a best of compilation of those same three with Gossow manning (or womaning) the helm with alleged conviction. Unsurprising are its intentions: for those who remain partial to the dissimilarities between young and old sounds. Such fans are quite possibly the easiest to convert, but are also the ones who need this darkened mistress from the south to prove an ability of doing justice to old pieces.

But already, the individual internet releases have painted a pitiable image for Angela’s act here. Showing that diverse percussiveness and accentuation are as important to her as making the performance sky-high above Liiva’s is a lost battle from the get go. She’s possibly at her best (dare I say) screeching as opposed to bellowing confided in inhuman territory, but this also begs the question. Why? Angela, you don’t sound anymore wicked here.

The Amott brothers now have the arduous task of contending with a messy vocal line, and unfortunately while their music is predominantly identical to their original castings, the tone is muffled and the form overly measured. Their self produced grit sounds closer to duelling guitars in a tapered wooden box that Andy Sneap fails to conceal. Furthermore, raising themselves from the earlier B to a higher C tuning paradoxically creates little piercing energy that makes you consider how such a progression would sound lifeless (compare “Silverwing” ’99 to ‘09 as an epitome to this). Other questions go unreciprocated. Why faintly slow the tempo during songs like “The Immortal”, “Dead Inside” and “Pilgrim” which salivate over aggressive momentum in all departments? Why deviate from the originals to add an unnecessary bridge or half time outro just for the sake of being ‘diverse’?

It’s by retyping the heady day tunes “Diva Santanica”, “Bridge of Destiny” “Bury Me an Angel” and “Beast of Man” that show Enemy at their best -- the latter of which tones this album deceivingly well at number one via a droning tremolo and mechanical ride cymbal. From here it could be argued that once settled in, most will find something tangible to enjoy here in the confines of a certain selected tracks. The performances are without doubt quality overall, but increasingly suffer from other aforementioned factors; tone, tempo and temperament. Whether or not Gossow is the best thing that ever happened to Arch Enemy still doesn’t offer authenticity to the reasoning behind this.



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user ratings (130)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
PartySmasher (2.5)
Not as good as the originals but still solid from Arch Enemy...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2009



15977 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Both of the vocalists are terrible, Johan and Angela.

This band needs to go away real fast. I had hopes when I first heard some samples from this album but now that I've heard the whole thing I realize that this band has absolutely no hope left. Good review, have a pos.

Digging: Tiamat - Wildhoney

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2009



8221 Comments


nice review, band never really appealed to me.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

jingledeath
October 6th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pos'd. super boring album

Altmer
October 6th 2009



5652 Comments


good band but i have no interest in this album

(and yeah Johan sucked)

Lunarfall
October 6th 2009



3177 Comments


only good album is wages of sin, and even that only deserves a 3

Zip
October 6th 2009



5313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album was actually pretty good. My 4 is based on Bridge of Destiny. It was good in the first place now it just kills.

Zip
October 6th 2009



5313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Johan isn't dead

Cesar
October 6th 2009



2732 Comments


NOOOOO, I really hoped this was going to be great, damit. I guess I'll just stik to Wages of Sin.

Apollo
October 6th 2009



10083 Comments


never been interested in them. Aside from the fact Angela Gossow would be a fucking beast in bed!

Undead
October 6th 2009



144 Comments


I never liked this band.

WhiteWallStargazers
October 6th 2009



2647 Comments


I enjoyed Rise of the Tyrant, but other then that this band is pretty meh to me

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2009



17114 Comments


Doomsday Machine was cool when I was in high school. everything else they've done has kinda sucked.

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

LepreCon
October 6th 2009



3544 Comments


Album art is kinda brutal

Wizard
October 6th 2009



18757 Comments


Really good analysis of this album Jake. This is where I stop listening to this band. They've been declining fast in the idea department over the past few albums and I feel this solidifies that they have nothing left. Truthfully, most metal bands that try to rehash the old end up failing so hard; especially bands like this who have only watered down their sound since their beginnings.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

XulOnerom
October 6th 2009



1817 Comments


Black Earth is Arch Enemy's best album, period

LepreCon
October 6th 2009



3544 Comments







...I liked it...

devouredbymetal
October 6th 2009



515 Comments


this band totally sucks...

zaruyache
October 6th 2009



4799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It was good! Angela's vocals are terrifying at times. Awesome. I can't really stand Liiva, though, which is probably why I like this so much.

Digging: The Great Old Ones - Tekeli-Li

R6Rider
October 6th 2009



4063 Comments


used to love these guys when I was getting into more extreme metal, not so much lately though

regardless, this band doesnt suck

they have a lot of solid material and still slay live

Digging: Homewrecker - Worms and Dirt

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2009



30294 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The guitars on this dont sound half agressive as the originals, especially Diva Satanica
Reviews ace

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days



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