Arch Enemy

STYLE: ORIGIN: SwedenFORMED: 1995LABEL: Century Media
  • MEMBERS:
  • Michael Amott − guitars, backing vocals (1996–present)
  • Alissa White-Gluz - lead vocals (2014-present)
  • Daniel Erlandsson − drums (1996, 1998–present)
  • Sharlee D'Angelo − bass (1999–present)
  • Jeff Loomis − guitars, backing vocals (2014–present)
BIOGRAPHY

Time passes, the world changes, but some things remain constant and unassailable. Heavy metal has endured for more than four decades because its spirit is eternal, and few bands embody the intensity, integrity and lofty artistic ambitions of the genre with more dazzling aplomb than Arch Enemy. Formed in Sweden in the mid-90s by former Carcass/Carnage guitarist Michael Amott, this most explosive and proficient of modern metal bands have spent the last 20 years propagating an unerring creed of technical excellence, songwriting genius and thunderous, irresistible live performance, accruing a huge global fan base along the way.

And now, in 2017, Arch Enemy are ready to rise again and climb ever further up the ladder toward pure metal supremacy. “The band’s core musical philosophy hasn’t changed much since I started the band,” says Amott. “It’s still about creating intense heavy metal with extreme vocals and a lot of melody in the guitars. We’ve always loved writing and meticulously crafting the best songs possible, that’s main motivation for us.

When Arch Enemy released their debut album “Black Earth” in 1996, death metal was stagnating and in desperate need of a kick up the ass. Amott’s blueprint for the purest of metal strains proved an instant underground hit, both in Europe and Japan, and almost single-handedly resurrected death metal as a viable art form with mainstream potential. Signed to Century Media Records for 1998’s sophomore effort “Stigmata“, Arch Enemy marched purposefully towards a new millennium with a rapidly growing reputation. 1999’s “Burning Bridges” added to the band’s momentum, their razor-sharp blend of brutality and epic melody becoming more refined with each creative step. But it was in 2001, when original vocalist Johan Liiva stood aside and mercurial frontwoman Angela Gossow stepped in, that Arch Enemy truly took off.

Released in 2001 in Japan and nearly a year later in Europe, “Wages Of Sin” showcased a revitalised line-up and newfound gift for immortal anthems, Gossow’s feral roar adding many layers of charisma and power to Arch Enemy’s already monstrous sound. Swiftly dedicating themselves to a relentless touring schedule, the band’s upward trajectory continued throughout the first decade of the 21st century, with each successive album enhancing the band’s reputation and bringing legions of new fans to this resolute heavy metal campaign.

Albums like 2003’s vicious “Anthems Of Rebellion” and 2011’s pitch-black and savage “Khaos Legions” ensured that Amott and his loyal henchmen – Gossow, drummer Daniel Erlandsson, bassist Sharlee D’Angelo and Michael’s guitarist sibling Christopher – remained firmly at the top of the extreme metal tree: respected veterans at the height of their powers.

Surviving and thriving in the metal scene is not always easy,Amott admits. “ Contrary to what I’ve seen a lot of people say, I feel the scene is actually quite trend driven and it’s impossible to be at the peak of your popularity all the time. In the past two decades we’ve seen a lot of trends and bands come and go. What I’ve always believed to be important is to stay true to yourself and the reasons why you started. Why you love music must always be at the forefront. I’m pretty good at keeping the 15-year-old Michael Amott alive in my heart!” Always focused but impervious to other’s rules and expectations, Arch Enemy evolved once more in 2015 following the departure of Angela Gossow (now the band’s manager).

Replacing one of the most iconic vocalists of the modern age was never going to be easy, but in the shape of former The Agonist frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz, Arch Enemy found the perfect candidate. Unveiled on the ferocious, anthem-laden triumph of 2014’s “War Eternal“, Alissa’s powerful identity and extraordinary vocal talents proved a natural and instantly welcomed fit. Further extensive touring cemented the new line-up’s thrilling efficacy, before one final line-up change – the arrival of legendary guitarist Jeff Loomis, formerly of Nevermore – completed the musical puzzle that Amott had been tinkering with for the best part of 20 years.

Switching singers in 2014 was a big change of course,Amott agrees. “Alissa brings a lot to the band as a singer and a very visually strong performer but also she writes great lyrics and vocal patterns that are very different to mine, which makes for more variation in the Arch Enemy sound. The twin-guitar attack has always been a big part of our sound and now we have Jeff Loomis who’s played some face-melting leads on the new album!

Recorded in 2017, the tenth Arch Enemy album was unleashed later in 2017 and promised to be the ultimate statement of heavy metal supremacy from a band that are still growing in stature as the years fall away.

Will To Power” will be the first album the band have recorded with their current line-up and as Michael Amott explains, diehard fans will be both thrilled to hear their favourite band on top form and somewhat surprised by their latest creative explorations. “The goal is always to raise the bar yet again and create an epic masterpiece!” he laughs. “I think the album has a great balance between traditional Arch Enemy and some new influences that come through here and there. The most surprising thing on this album is that we’ve written our first ever ballad. It’s still a very metal song, but there’s no way around the fact that it is a ballad and that might be quite controversial for a band like us, I guess. I’m excited to hear what our fans will think of that one, but I do feel that we can afford to spread our wings a bit on our tenth studio album!

Once Will To Power hits the streets, Arch Enemy will do what they do best, hitting the road and taking their latest batch of heroic metal anthems to the people. Achieving longevity is the toughest challenge that faces any band, but Arch Enemy have long since established themselves as a permanent fixture on the global metal scene and as standard bearers for upholding and celebrating of the heavy metal code. Right now, in 2017, no other band embodies the spirit of the genre with such flair and euphoric zeal. Long may their steel spirit prevail.

It’s always been about creating the best songs we can make and whatever success we’ve had is direct result of the music speaking to people and our relentless worldwide touring,Michael grins. “We are happy with the fact that the band has had growth spurt these last couple of years and it’s exciting to put on a bigger and more complete live show for our fans. We obviously hope our fans will enjoy Will To Power and we’re looking forward to getting back out there and performing live again, with a whole bunch of killer new tunes up our sleeve!

In an October 2018 interview, Michael Amott announced that he has been “writing a little bit here and there” and has “a few new ideas” for the next Arch Enemy album.

On 18 January 2019, Arch Enemy released “Covered In Blood“, a compilation album of songs covered over the years.

VIDEOS
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DISCOGRAPHY

Will To Power / 2017

  • Album Info
  • 2017
  • Century Media, Savage Messiah Music
  1. Set Flame to the Night
  2. The Race
  3. Blood In The Water
  4. The World Is Yours
  5. The Eagle Flies Alone
  6. Reason To Believe
  7. Murder Scene
  8. First Day In Hell
  9. Saturnine
  10. Dreams Of Retribution
  11. My Shadow And I
  12. A Fight I Must Win
  13. City Baby Attacked By Rats (Cover Version)

Will to Power is the tenth studio album by Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy, released on September 8, 2017 via Century Media Records. This is the first album to feature guitarist Jeff Loomis who joined the band in November 2014. It is also the first Arch Enemy album to feature a song with clean singing as lead vocals, that being “Reason to Believe”.

War Eternal / 2014

  • Album Info
  • 2014
  • Century Media, Savage Messiah Music
1.”Tempore nihil sanat (Prelude in F Minor)” (Prelude)
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” (Interlude)
8. “Stolen Life”
9. “Time Is Black”
10. “On and On”
11. “Avalanche”
12. “Down to Nothing”
13. “Not Long for This World” (Occlude)
14. “Shadows On The Wall”

 

War Eternal is the ninth studio album by Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy, which was released on June 9, 2014 by Century Media. It is the first Arch Enemy album in 13 years since Wages of Sin to feature a new line-up; Alissa White-Gluz took over on vocals after former long-time vocalist Angela Gossow stepped down from vocal duties to be the band’s business manager. Additionally, ex-Arsis guitarist Nick Cordle replaced Christopher Amott in 2012. Cordle ultimately left the band just before their European tour and was replaced by former Nevermore Guitarist Jeff Loomis.

Khaos Legions / 2011

  • Album Info
  • 2011
  • Century Media, Savage Messiah Music
  1. Khaos Overture
  2. Yesterday Is Dead And Gone
  3. Bloodstained Cross
  4. Under Black Flags We March
  5. No Gods, No Masters
  6. City Of The Dead
  7. Through The Eyes Of A Raven
  8. Cruelty Without Beauty
  9. We Are A Godless Entity
  10. Cult Of Chaos
  11. Thorns In My Flesh
  12. Turn To Dust
  13. Vengeance Is Mine
  14. Secrets
  15. The Zoo
  16. Snow Bound (Acoustic)

Khaos Legions is the eighth studio album by Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy. It was released on May 30, 2011 by Century Media. The record marks a return to new, original material, after releasing the Tyrants of the Rising Sun – Live in Japan live CD/DVD (2008) and The Root of All Evil (2009) which consisted of a selection of re-recorded songs from the band’s back catalog. It is the band’s ninth album counting the compilation.

Khaos Legions debuted at number 78 on the Billboard 200, selling around 6,000 copies. This surpasses both Doomsday Machine and Rise of the Tyrant, making it the band’s highest-charting effort so far.

The album’s single is “Yesterday is Dead and Gone”, and music videos have been released for “Yesterday is Dead and Gone”, “Bloodstained Cross”, “Under Black Flags We March” and “Cruelty Without Beauty”. This would be the band’s last album with founding member and guitarist Christopher Amott before he parted ways with the band for the second time in March 2012, to be replaced by former Arsis guitarist Nick Cordle. Also the last album with vocalist Angela Gossow before she stepped down as vocalist in March 2014, to be replaced by Alissa White-Gluz.

Rise Of The Tyrant / 2007

  • Album Info
  • 2007
  • Century Media

Doomsday Machine / 2005

  • Album Info
  • 2005
  • Century Media

Anthems Of Rebellion / 2003

  • Album Info
  • 2003
  • Century Media

Wages Of Sin / 2001

  • Album Info
  • 2001
  • Century Media

Burning Bridges / 1999

  • Album Info
  • 1999
  • Century Media

Stigmata / 1998

  • Album Info
  • 1998
  • Century Media

Stigmata is the second album by Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy. The album was Arch Enemy’s first to see worldwide release, in Europe and North America on Century Media Records, and in Japan again on Toy’s Factory records. Stigmata features session drummer Peter Wildoer, who had also appeared in Christopher Amott’s solo project Armageddon on the 1997 album Crossing the Rubicon, shortly before the recording of the album. The album was reissued on May 25, 2009, featuring a new layout, packaging, and bonus tracks. Stigmata not only contains a title track, but a track named after their previous album as well. The Sri Lankan metal band Stigmata named themselves after this album.

Black Earth / 1996

  • Album Info
  • 1996
  • Wrong Again Records

Black Earth is the debut album by the Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy. The album was reissued on April 24, 2007 on Regain Records, featuring “Losing Faith”, two Iron Maiden covers and the video for “Bury Me an Angel”.

Black Earth was critically well received. Anders Sandvall of Metal Rules stated that “the album is brilliant and there are no bad songs on it.”

Allmusic’s critic Alex Henderson wrote in his review that “Black Earth was a promising debut for Arch Enemy and is among the Swedish combo’s more consistent and memorable efforts.”

Ron Salden of Archaic Magazine said that Black Earth is a classic and praised the songs writing they “showcase a fresh mixture of death/thrash metal whilst the Amott brothers rip their guitars exquisitely to delightful bits of melody, harmony lines, guitar licks and solos.” He praised “Bury Me an Angel” and comments that the songs “Eureka”, “Transmigration Macabre” and “Fields of Desolation” still sounds fresh in these days. Chad Bowar of About.com said that the album sound “was raw, but the songs still were very catchy with solid guitar work from Michael and Christopher Amott”.

About the songs, Metal Review’s journalist Jason Jordan states: “”Dark Insanity” is arguably the best of the lot due to its fantastic riffs and leads, which Erlandsson backs up with a pummeling, and at times appropriately restrained, performance.” He also comments that some songs like “Idolatress”, “Cosmic Retribution”, “Transmigration Macabre” and “Fields of Desolation” have praiseworthy characteristics too, though none quite match the verve of the openers. Jordan praised mainly the band members writing that “Black Earth is a solid outing of melodic death metal with each member in fine form” and that “the brothers Amott turn in excellent performances as the band’s guitarists, Daniel Erlandsson provides backbone support from atop the throne, and Johan Liiva contributes his unique vocals to one of the better Arch Enemy efforts.”

REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS

When you hear the name Arch Enemy you automatically associate it with beautiful melodies, brutal vocals and fast pace drumming right? It is kind of a weird combo isn’t it?

March 6, 2018 by Tero Tolkki
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