Album Reviews

Arch Enemy – War Eternal Review

archenemy_wareternal_cover

Released by: Century Media Records

Release Date: Out Now!!

Genre: Metal

Links: http://www.archenemy.net

 

Line-Up:

Michael Amott : guitars

Daniel Erlandsson : drums

Sharlee D’Angelo: bass

Nick Cordle : guitars

Alissa White-Gluz : lead vocals

 

Tracklist:

1. Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude in F minor)

2. Never Forgive, Never Forget

3. War Eternal

4. As the Pages Burn

5. No More Regrets

6. You Will Know My Name

7. Graveyard of Dreams

8. Stolen Life

9. Time Is Black

10. On and On

11. Avalanche

12. Down to Nothing

13. Not Long for This World

 

Like many of you I was stunned, STUNNED to learn that Angela Gossow was leaving ARCH ENEMY, but I also figured that the vocalist position would be in pretty good hands with Alissa White-Gluz at the helm. What I did NOT know was just how awesome this group would sound with her. Jeezus, this new record War Eternal is incredible! From start to finish there is not one clunker, and I’ve had it on virtually all week! It should also be noted that this is the first album to feature guitarist Nick Cordle and he fits the band like a glove. So what are we waiting for? Let’s go!!

After a brief intro the head-pounding and ass-kicking begins in earnest with “Never Forgive, Never Forget” featuring some neoclassical guitar runs and blast beats. If they were looking to make a statement, they sure as hell did! Leadoff single “War Eternal” is next and has more of a traditional metal feel to it, but it’s no less crushing. And I can say without a shadow of a doubt that “As the Pages Burn” is my runaway favorite on the album. Again, crushing is the word of choice, but with so much melody it’s liable to burst at the seams. Alissa sounds especially vicious on this one, like you’d get your arm torn off if you got too close to her. One listen to “No More Regrets” and you’ll see some similarities to MEGADETH. In fact, THIS is the type of song they should be putting out, not that crap from a year ago, oy.

Things take a turn for the dark and sinister with “You Will Know My Name” yet another strong cut on an album full of them, Alissa sounding like someone stalking her prey over an arrangement that sounds like it could be from any landmark album from days of yore. It’s about half a step down heavy-wise, but still deliciously evil and the solo is one of my favorites as well. “Graveyard of Dreams” is a two-minute interlude that provides a brief respite before we gear up for Round 2, starting with “Stolen Life” It’s a short and angry tune which takes us into “Time Is Black”, drummer Daniel Erlandsson having a field day with the double bass drums and generally changing tempos like crazy. It’s a great one, believe me. And the riffage of “On and On” is served chunky-style, my favorite.

It seems like I can’t talk about the arrangements on this album enough. And that’s because Michael Amott, guitarist and founding member is a goddamn genius at this stuff. Look no further than “Avalanche” for proof. Definitely some of his best work, y’all! “Down to Nothing” swings the wrecking ball one last time just in case you don’t already have head trauma from this fucking disc before closing us out with “Not Long For This World” an instrumental that serves as the perfect backdrop to sit and reflect on the thrashing that ARCH ENEMY have just put upon you. War Eternal is a flawless record and should be on everyone’s must-have list for 2014. So get crackin’!!

 

Written by Damian J Cousins

Ratings    Damian   10/10

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