Arch Enemy
Will to Power


3.0
good

Review

by Chamberbelain USER (159 Reviews)
September 8th, 2017 | 82 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another Arch Enemy album. Could be worse, could be better.

Arch Enemy keeps soldiering along, ever honing their squeaky clean, polished and attractive version of melodic death metal. Now featuring ex-Nevermore songwriter, Jeff Loomis, who replaced Nick Cordle previously, and the second album to be released with Alissa White-Gluz, whose transition into the band after the departure of long term singer Angela Gossow was nigh on seamless, another typical Arch Enemy platter is served, full of power metal concepts carved into melodic death metal templates and layered with ostentatious guitar-work from Michael Amott. Business as usual.

Bizarrely, Arch Enemy has elected not to utilise Jeff Loomis’s choppy writing on their 10th album. Instead, Michael Amott takes responsibility for all fretwork in ”Will to Power”, resulting in an album that is chock-full of empowering leads, boastful bravado and enriching melodies. These attributes alone underline the core concept that gravitates around the songs: Strength. Above anything like the level of talent that the band comprises of and the crisp production that went into it, this album is simply designed to make the listener feel triumphant, unstoppable and invigorated. Admittedly, in some ways, it succeeds. Alissa’s dark tone and the way it sounds like she grits her teeth at the end of each line matches the lumbering guitars brilliantly in the bitter “First Day in Hell”. Songs like “The Race” and “The Eagle Flies Alone” also features a faster, motivated pace coupled with frantic blast beats and comprehensible growls to enhance the powerful attitude Arch Enemy presents. Feel the wind in your hair, straighten your shoulders and stand for something, dammit!

The majority of this album might be designed to sound as stirring as possible, however, they have an annoying tendency to sound exactly like one another; this is a problem that has been plaguing the band for the past decade of their career. Featuring a new, formidable vocalist and guitarist, ”Will to Power” displays so much missed potential where Arch Enemy could have focused on revitalising their influential sound but instead stuck with something clean and comfortable. With a strange, edited fade-in of guitar melodies, “The World Is Yours” stumbles dangerously close to an abyss that sucks out any form of innovation, leaving only the generic remains. Luckily, a barrage of stamping riffs pulls them back from the edge. A distinct sense of danger and spite that albums like “Wages of Sin” and “Anthems of Rebellion” effortlessly resonated feels absent here and the empowering sensibility this album projects is exactly what holds it back.

Nevertheless, this album does introduce a handful of moments where Arch Enemy signals their intent to evolve. “Reason to Believe” is the obvious example of it as it showcases Alissa’s abilities as a clean vocalist. Some sort of progression in this band is refreshing to hear but when it’s placed in the middle of the tracklisting, it sounds like Arch Enemy has included it as a necessity; as if they felt the need to prove that they have the potential to progress, but only do so on this single occasion. Some of the subsequent songs could have emphasised this evolution by showcasing Alissa’s affectionate vocals in their towering choruses, yet the only time that they attempt this technique is in the subsequent song, “Murder Scene”, where her voice is unhelpfully obscured by the guitars.

Along with the more frequent orchestral inclusions and the cleanliness of the album’s production, this significant development does question what direction Arch Enemy will choose in the future. Overall, ”Will to Power” does exactly what it was designed to do but one can easily play the previous two albums to hear similarly styled songs and still get the same empowering feeling as if you were listening to their most recent effort. For those looking to be motivated, this is an effective stimulant, for those hoping for a revitalization from a highly influential band, this is a decent album and not much more.



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user ratings (103)
Chart.
2.7
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
BlackwaterPork
September 8th 2017


2335 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Haha aw man you beat me to it

Digging: Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

zaruyache
September 8th 2017


18074 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Refuse to acknowledge this could be worth hearing.

DungeonBoy
September 8th 2017


3361 Comments


Solid review! I have no idea why they would tap Jeff Loomis for guitar only to have him riffing along to stale, rehashed, melodeath riffs when he has so much more to offer. Wages of Sin was the last good AE album, but it really hasn't held up that well over time in my opinion. The only great record this band has ever released was Burning Bridges, and I still spin it every now and then.

Digging: Dawn - Slaughtersun (Crown of the Triarchy)

BladeRunner
September 8th 2017


419 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

On first listen, seems a bit better than War Eternal, but still completely derivative of past AE stuff. The ballad is shit. That said, I like some of these tracks, in a a sort of big, dumb, popcorn movie way.

zaruyache
September 9th 2017


18074 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

oh wow The Race was surprisingly not awful. This still isn't great so far but at least it sounds like Arch Enemy instead of just pretending to be Arch Enemy like on War Eternal.

Flugmorph
September 9th 2017


17553 Comments


here's a joke
stargazer777

BlackwaterPork
September 9th 2017


2335 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

That guy likes this album a bit too much

Stargazer777
September 9th 2017


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Great review. How am I a joke for liking this album? It has beastly guitar riffs, better vocals, and excellent creative edge to each song. Lol stop acting like a stuck up bitch. People have different opinions. Get over yourself for once and accept that fact please.

BlackwaterPork
September 9th 2017


2335 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's a bit of banter, chill buddy.

zaruyache
September 9th 2017


18074 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

it's only fun poking you if you keep responding so seriously--which you keep doing like clockwork lol. But really tho like "and excellent creative edge"? This is fairly generic melodic death metal in the same vein they've been writing since at least Wages of Sin, so idk where this qualifies as creative at all.

TundraL5Z
September 9th 2017


477 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Albums very enjoyable, thats all i have to say

Digging: The Dear Hunter - All Is As All Should Be

BallsToTheWall
September 9th 2017


48188 Comments


Enjoyed the two singles so I'll give this a spin.

Digging: CZARFACE - Every Hero Needs a Villain

TundraL5Z
September 9th 2017


477 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Reason to Believe has a clean vocal, definitely check that if nothing else

Stargazer777
September 9th 2017


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I say it's creative because most of the guitar riffs and solos are clearly different this time. I do agree that the album has plenty of cons, bad lyrics, weak vocals, and generic chugs. The stylish instrumental presentation is there throughout each song; for example in the song "Blood in the Water", Alissa has a punk swag accent that improves the tones of the lyrics and the guitar riffs. There's also excellent keyboard sounds in some songs that show a fresh, new style to Arch Enemy. That's creative music.

Stargazer777
September 9th 2017


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I agree with Tundra. I just disagree with ppl shitting on the album for no reason lol you can't deny sputnik's biased hate sometimes..

"Oh! A popular metal band made a new album but nahhh it's trash, 1 star" "This sucks"

That shit honestly annoys me.

Flugmorph
September 9th 2017


17553 Comments


you're so far up your own ass man

Flugmorph
September 9th 2017


17553 Comments


funny how coverkillernation didn't like this album a whole lot.
wasn't he your favorite reviewer, stargazer?

zaruyache
September 9th 2017


18074 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

he's not half bad, tho still too die-hard metalhead for my taste.

Flugmorph
September 9th 2017


17553 Comments


hes way to forgiving to the point that his opinion isnt that valuable to me

zaruyache
September 9th 2017


18074 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

at least he doesn't baselessly dismiss death metal entirely like rageaholic tho heh



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