Arch Enemy intends to reign again with its new album.
Created in 1995 in Sweden by Michael Amott (guitar, Black Earth, Spiritual Beggars, ex-Carcass, ex-Candlemass), the band also counts on Daniel Erlandsson (drums, Black Earth, ex-Brujeria, ex-Carcass, ex-Eucharist), Sharlee D’Angelo (bass, Black Earth, Spiritual Beggars, The Night Flight Orchestra, ex-Mercyful Fate, ex-Witchery), Jeff Loomis (guitar, Conquering Dystopia, ex-Nevermore) and Alissa White-Gluz (vocals, ex-The Agonist) for the release of Deceivers, their 12th album.
The album starts with the energetic Handshake With Hell, a composition that immediately reassures us about the band’s inspiration with heady melodies, a powerful rhythmic, massive screams and… clean vocals. Surprisingly enough, these new Metalcore influences fit the band quite well, just like the raw rage of Deceiver, Deceiver, a composition that borrows from Thrash Metal to add a dose of energy to their Melodic Death. The jerky riffs overlaid with wild screams are still as effective and catchy as ever, especially on this rather Old School final, which leads us to In The Eye Of The Storm, a more accessible and groovy composition. Vocals will bring the aggressive touch to this simple but effective rhythmic topped by air leads, then The Watcher continues with heady melodies to complete this rhythmic basis on which the vocalist gives her heart to it. We also notice some haunting sounds into leads, before the solo comes to revitalize the track, which will leave us on Poisoned Arrow and its obvious melancholy during the introduction. Even when the heavy rhythm comes in, the track remains quiet and quite slow, leaving Sunset Over The Empire to energize the tempo with a thick groove and a solid double kick. I was surprised by the majestic chorus that contrasts with the rage of the rhythmic, creating a real break within the track, then House Of Mirrors returns to more usual sounds for the band, namely uncompromising and massive riffs. The heady leads perfectly accompany the rhythmic, then heavy influences are heard on Spreading Black Wings, a very quiet track which will surprise a lot at first. The band allows us a short break with Mourning Star and its soothing softness, then the heaviness finally resurfaces with One Last Time and its effective rhythmic. Once again, the band plays on the difference between aggressive parts and very soft leads which will slow down the song to let the guitarists express themselves. The album will end with Exiled From Earth and its majestic keyboards which frame a massive double kick, soaring leads and very solid vocal parts, revealing a new side of the band’s sound.
Arch Enemy has undeniably evolved. To their efficient and catchy Melodic Death Metal, the band now adds Heavy or Metalcore elements on Deceivers, while placing leads and screams at the center of their universe. Surprising, but not incoherent.