The year is 2006, Arch Enemy are busy touring off of their latest record Doomsday Machine, but rewind back to 1993, the legendary Melodic Death/Grind band Carcass had just released their huge album Heartwork, regarded by many as one of the first Melodic Death Metal albums released. It had clean production, and the riffs conveyed a much bigger sense of melody then previous works, the song structure was even different for the most part. Some people accused them of selling out, but most jumped for joy at the sound of this new music. Fast forward to 1994, Michael Amott leaves Carcass,. After creating his new band with brother Christopher , Michael created the Gothenburg/Melodic Death Metal band Arch Enemy in late '94 and released Black Earth in '96. Fast forward again to 2002, Johan (lead singer from 96-2001) is asked to leave, and new front woman (yay I'm not sexist!) Angela Gossow is his replacement. Now forward to 2005 and press play as their latest effort Doomsday Machine was released!
Doomsday Machine is an all around brilliant album. It's got the powerful (and multiple tracked) growls from Arch Enemy, the soaring guitar leads from both the Amott brothers, some solid bass playing from Sharlee D'Angelo, and some technical, yet subtle drumming from Daniel Erlandsson.
Arch Enemy have always been a band with great lead riffing and superb soloing, DM is no different. Taking Back My Soul
has got some brilliant soloing towards the middle, there is even some harmonizing between Chris and Michael. And their riffing is still catchy, and slightly technical. Nemesis'
intro and main lick is a perfect example of just that. But they know when not to play as well as keeping the song interesting and not boring. During the verses of songs such as My Apocalypse
and Carry The Cross
the guitars don't try to excessively put in technical riffs, they create more of the rhythm with both guitars focusing on the same thing.
The drumming is also much like that. Daniel doesn't put in rapid fire blast beats or double bass, or a fill every 4 bars he adds the groove to the song. Another thing about Daniel is that he doesn't just follow the rhythm guitar part like so many other drummers who just add a bass drum hit for every down or upstroke from the guitar. He prefers to lay back and add just feel out the song, while adding hi s own spin. Like the verse of Slaves of Yesterday
he'll hit a few toms but it doesn't take away from the music at all. Sharlee, isn't heard incredibly often, but when you can hear him he's usually not mimicking the drums, he follows the guitar a lot, but in songs like Hybrids Of Steel
he is kind in the middle.
Next onto Angela, and the lyrics. She still has her, for the lack of a better word, scary voice. On this album I find it's at its peak. Most of the tracks have multiple layered shrieking, I know some find this annoying but I don't notice to much. The lyrics are also pretty good, they focus on more then just gory themes, and they don't just come out say this song is about this, this and this. For example Nemesis
talks about us (I'm guessing metal heads) rising up, such lyrics as We are Enemy/Opponent of the System/Crushing hypocrisy/Slaying the philistine
lead me to believe this. Mechanic God Creation
however, I interpret as being more about, humans playing god by building machines (we're the mechanic gods), and that we are in reality building doomsday machines that will overtake us. I Am Legend/Out For Blood
is about revenge. The legend is out for a betrayers blood, for whatever reason. He's harder than steel, he's been waiting for this for this for awhile. This song is about how this person will be killed.
-Excellent musicianship and song writing
-Original and NOT
dull or boring
-No filler, every one of these songs is unique in it's own way, you won't a track that sounds like it was thrown together at the last minute
-Some people might not like Angela's voice being double and triple tracked all the time
-The bass is not often heard
-Fans of normal Melodic Death, Brutal Death, or regular Death Metal might not like the lacking of blast beats :)
In conclusion, this is one hell of an album. It's really stupendous, I know a lot of people have really given up on Arch Enemy's new style, but you should definitely check this out, I have it to be much more memorable, and overall enjoyable then both Anthems Of Rebellion and Wages of Sin.
I am Legend/Out For Blood
Mechanic God Creation
Taking Back My Soul