Arch Enemy
Khaos Legions


2.0
poor

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
June 10th, 2011 | 118 replies | 26,426 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's a lack of creativity that makes Khaos Legions such a difficult album to listen to.

Everything you need to know about Khaos Legions is nicely summed up in the first three songs debuted by Arch Enemy over the last couple months. "Yesterday Is Dead and Gone" emphasizes individuality and freedom. "Bloodstained Cross" is a song about how god isn't real. And of course, "No Gods, No Masters" has something to do with individuality and freedom from a god that doesn't exist. If this sounds familiar, it's because this is blueprint Arch Enemy has spent the past decade following. If such themes were ever particularly inspiring, their continuous regurgitation has rendered them uninteresting. While vocalist Angela Gossow rasping "All the prayers in the world/won't help you now" in "Bloodstained Cross," may have sounded edgy eight years ago when Arch Enemy was the first death metal band you listened to, in 2011 it's stale. Put simply, Khaos Legions doesn't say anything that hasn't been said roughly the same way over the past four or five albums.

Likewise, Khaos Legions recycles the same musical ideas that listeners were subject to on Rise of the Tyrant, Anthems of Rebellion, and virtually every other second-rate melodeath album released since the turn of the century. Guitarists Michael and Christopher Amott are often credited as being skilled players, and while this may be true, they don't do very much with it. Gossow highlights Arch Enemy's major shtick (there is a woman fronting a death metal band), but once you get over that, the band has very little to separate them from their peers. At its best, Khaos Legions is standard, barely passable melodeath faire; a song like "Bloodstained Cross" somewhat catchy, if unmemorable. At its worst, Khaos Legions is a mess of ideas haphazardly thrown together. Too much of the record features ill-advised tempo changes, inane, out of place soloing that is supposed to sound impressive but instead sounds tacky. "Through the Eyes of a Raven" is the worst offender, offering a bizarre hodgepodge of slow grooves, monotonous melodeath clich├ęs, and an instrumental section that sounds as though it was lifted from an Iron Maiden song from the 1980s. It's a frustratingly incohesive record for a band that has previously released seven.

Detractors frequently cite Angela Gossow as being the weak link in Arch Enemy. While her efforts behind the mic certainly do not help (ranging from merely overproduced to downright ridiculous), the problems with Khaos Legions run deeper. Arch Enemy seem content with resting on their laurels, and while that may please the kind of fans who are upset that In Flames haven't be repackaging Whoracle for the past ten years, it ultimately lacks substance. It's this lack of creativity that makes Khaos Legions such a difficult album to listen to; the band's seeming unwillingness to address these problems makes it difficult to care.



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user ratings (272)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
Jake C. Taylor (2.5)
Another album; another collection of fleeting brilliance, and a whole lot of sustenance in the monot...


Comments:Add a Comment 
LoneWanderer
June 10th 2011



180 Comments


Nice review...

I just can't get into this band...

I tried "Black Earth" and "Anthems of Rebellion" and I found the material pretty ordinary...


Piglet
June 10th 2011



4644 Comments


Great Review, as always. Can't stand Angela's vocals any more.

ZombicidalMan
June 10th 2011



1263 Comments


Band is annoying, especially Angela. Good review, but I won't check
this out.

Hawks
June 10th 2011



33363 Comments


I've always liked Arch Enemy so I'm still gonna listen to this. Not really expecting much though.

Raz0rGrind23
June 10th 2011



419 Comments


I've always found the Amott Brothers to be pretty extraordinary, but this is meh...

scissorlocked
June 10th 2011



3483 Comments


I refuse to listen to this

i'm so sure it's gonna be boring

Digging: Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches

bigguytoo9
June 10th 2011



222 Comments


Mike Amott is better in Carcass

zaruyache
June 10th 2011



4851 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I've started getting annoyed by the band members themselves recently, even though I am definitely (or was?) an Angela fanboy. It doesn't seem to be anything really special or new, just the same old melodeath. That said, I still find it enjoyable even though I do agree with many of the points raised in this review. Fanbois 4 evur I guess.

Digging: Paramnesia - Paramnesia

KronosRage
June 10th 2011



367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"Yesterday Is Dead and Gone" emphasizes individuality and freedom. "Bloodless Cross" is a song about
how god isn't real."

You can't even get the song titles right. Another review from a guy that listened to the first song
and thought it was enough to review the whole album.

I agree that this album isn't anything new, it is more of the same, but why does everybody complain
now? Nobody complained about Doomsday Machine, which is in my opinion their weakest album, and is
extremely generic. In fact, everybody liked it!

And now that they release their second best album (Wages of Sin is their best), nobody likes the
band anymore.

Still, good review but I don't agree with this being a 2.

XfingTheSullen
June 10th 2011



2199 Comments


Listen to some Carnal Forge instead of this. A very similar sounding band, but even better.

KronosRage
June 10th 2011



367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Carnal Forge is great

Shattered_Future
June 10th 2011



1539 Comments


Listened to the first three songs. That was enough to convince me I was done with this band. Guess I'm not 15 years old anymore...

playguitar
June 10th 2011



36 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nailed it. Every riff/song is like a stale version of one I've already heard before.


Essence
June 10th 2011



3561 Comments


i liked this band when i first got into metal and never again

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
June 10th 2011



7762 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Recycled garbage


Guess I'm not 15 years old anymore...


Exactly

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
June 10th 2011



7762 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Also sixteen songs is way too much torture

Altmer
June 10th 2011



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It sounds quality to my ears. Sure, it doesn't deviate from what they did before, but did anyone really expect them to suddenly sound like Opeth?

I have no problems with this record. "Anthems" is their finest hour, but this is solid and I'm sure there's a few gems that I'll continuously listen to.

Ire
June 10th 2011



41474 Comments


it's poo

Makemebad35
June 10th 2011



696 Comments


I'm glad I wasn't going crazy feeling like this one lacked a little compared to the rest. Being I enjoyed Rise of the Tyrants a lot I would figured I would still continue to like AE's releases. But this is the first one that's just feeling like it's lacking. I'll still give it another try since I enjoy these guys a lot.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2011



16027 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This album sucks.

Digging: Katatonia - Kocytean



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