Angela Gossow Steps Down from ARCH ENEMY

ARCH ENEMY has announced that vocalist Angela Gossow has stepped down and has been replaced by Alissa White-Gluz of THE AGONIST.  You didn’t really expect the band to replace her with a male, did you?

Angela Gossow comments:

“Dear ARCH ENEMY fans, this is not easy to tell you…I have decided to step down from being ARCH ENEMY‘s voice of anger. After 13 years of pure fucking metal, 6 studio albums and countless tours through five continents, I feel the need to enter a different phase in my life, be with my family and pursue other interests. I will however remain business manager for ARCH ENEMY, and I will continue to develop my artist management roster.

“I am staying true to my heavy metal roots, just leaving the spotlight so to speak. I am passing the torch to the super talented Alissa White-Gluz, whom I’ve known as a dear friend and a superb vocalist for many years. I always thought she deserved a chance to shine – and now she’s getting it. Just like I got that chance back in 2001.

“I want to thank all ARCH ENEMY fans, our labels Century Media (worldwide) and Trooper Entertainment (Japan), our dedicated road crew, and in particular Michael, Daniel and Sharlee for their love and support throughout all these years. It’s been one hell of a ride! We conquered every situation, made it through thick & thin together in the most exciting and rewarding time of my life. Thank you all for being there with me on stage, in front of the stage, and backstage. You have touched my heart, and I hope I was able to give something back to you. I am grateful for the wonderful memories – I will cherish them forever!

“I am looking forward to the next decade of ARCH ENEMY madness! Right now I am listening through rough mixes of the new studio album and I am blown away! 2014 will see a renewed ARCH ENEMY at the top of their game. I am proud to be part of this ARCH ENEMY chapter, albeit in a different way – revving up the engines behind the scenes. I hope to see you in front of the stage; I will join you there this time. Let the killing begin, once again!”

Alissa White-Gluz comments:

“I am very honored and happy to announce a new chapter in my life and musical career beginning now; I have joined forces with one of my all-time favorite and globally respected bands, ARCH ENEMY. ‘Wages of Sin‘ was the first metal album I ever bought, and it was love at first listen. It is not often that you get a phone call from your favorite band asking you to join! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such amazingly talented musicians whom I also consider great friends. I look forward to being able to write and perform at a whole new level now with ARCH ENEMY! Music is forever, metal is limitless and this is only the beginning!”

Band leader Michael Amott comments:

“We are eternally grateful to Angela for all her passion, hard work and talent. Her legacy is tremendous and will always be a big part of the band’s history. We feel great pride in what has been achieved in the past, but also look forward to new battles and new victories. We welcome Alissa with open arms – and we hope you will have open ears. We might have just created our most wicked metal opus yet with our upcoming album ‘War Eternal’!”

SPIRITUAL BEGGARS – Earth Blues

Spiritual Beggars - Earth BluesIf someone were to tell you that Earth Blues is a near perfect record for what it is, that would be an accurate statement.  One would be hard pressed to find anything wrong or bad about it.  Everything is what it should be.

Eight albums into their career and SPIRITUAL BEGGARS are right in the pocket.  Perfect chops and production only lead one to look to the songs to determine one’s enjoyment level.  The twelve songs on Earth Blues are wonderfully diverse, rockin’, and proudly carry on the sound of 70′s rock.  Will it change your life?  That’s probably going too far but it easily fills in the gaps in your classic rock collection.

Look, it’s pretty simple – you either love 70′s rock or you don’t.  And while there are some up and coming bands that play this general style, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS are at the top of the mountain.  (Inside Out Music)

Christopher Amott Quits ARCH ENEMY For Second Time

ARCH ENEMY have parted ways with guitarist Christopher Amott in an amicable split. Christopher Amott was a member of ARCH ENEMY between 1996-2005 and again between 2007-2011.  The following is a statement from the band:

“We thank Christopher for the time he’s worked with the band and of course wish him the very best in his future endeavors.

“Thankfully, there is no drama behind the scenes here. This is the best way forward for all involved. Christopher simply does not feel at home with playing extreme metal anymore.

“We have already chosen and rehearsed with a new guitar player and we will complete the ‘Khaos Legions‘ 2012 touring cycle as planned. We are highly motivated and look forward to continue spreading our music around the world!

“Finally, our deepest thanks go to the ARCH ENEMY fans, whose amazing support and belief inspires us ever onward.”

Here is what Christopher Amott posted on his Facebook page:

“Hi everyone, I have left ARCH ENEMY to pursue my solo career. I’m gonna continue to be very active in music, working with all kinds of styles – this does not rule out metal. I have just recorded a new solo album set to be released in April. Keep an eye on this page for updates, I’ll try to be here more often. / Chris

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2011

2011 was a very productive and enjoyable year for extreme music, perhaps the best in years. Thus, it was not an easy task choosing what we enjoyed best since they were just so many. 2011 also gave us unforgettably bad albums by LOU REED and METALLICA, flops by THE HAUNTED as well as controversial ones by MORBID ANGEL.

We look forward to another strong year in 2012 in which we will celebrate our 10 years online. Cheers for all of your support in 2011! Radikult!!
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ARCH ENEMY, DEVILDRIVER, SKELETONWITCH, CHTHONIC @ Club Nokia, Los Angeles (9/27/11)

The North American Khaos 2011 Tour had a metal genre for everybody – black, thrash, nu, and melodic metal were all represented nicely.

CHTHONIC has gained quite an increase of popularity in the U.S. since their first go around at Ozzfest in 2007, and that notion was proven by the rabid crowd that showed up early giving full support to the “Orient metal” from the Far East.  The band performed tracks mostly from the new album, Takasago Army, and new tracks like “Takao” and “Southern Cross” went over tremendously well in the live setting. Vocalist Freddy Lim owned the crowd with his enthusiastic charisma and wowed onlookers whenever he pulled out the er-hu to accentuate why CHTHONIC stands out as a unique band.
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Underground Gems: DARKANE’s Rusted Angel

With the recent great news about original vocalist Lawrence Mackrory returning to DARKANE, it instantly triggered fond memories of the band’s excellent debut album, Rusted Angel.

Originally released in 1999 by Swedish label, War Music/Wrong Again Records (now known as Regain Records), DARKANE made their debut at a time when the Swedish scene (post-Stockholm scene) was starting to make big waves in the underground.

Unlike their countrymen in Gothenburg, DARKANE‘s bread and butter wasn’t centered around melody per se. Rusted Angel was a fresh new sound combining vicious thrash (i.e. latter day TESTAMENT) and death metal with a very impressive technical flare. There was just a special energy and power to it. Songwise, Rusted Angel is a solid album. No bad eggs in the bunch.

Guitarists Christofer Malmström and Klas Ideberg riffing style was so unique for the time and still is. There were lots of riffing variations with plenty of intensity and flavor. Their guitar solos were great too. They have chops and weren’t afraid to show it.

Peter Wildoer‘s drumming is absolutely excellent. His style is so musical and dynamic. Wildoer adds endless ear candy with his tasty fills and unique style. The Amott brothers should’ve never let him leave ARCH ENEMY.

Vocalist Lawrence Mackrory was unique as well. He didn’t emulate the higher death metal vocals of his Swedish peers. Instead, his vocals were more abrasive, raw, and varied. He even had a semi-clean vocal style that he used kind of like TESTAMENT‘s Chucky Billy.

Outside of nostalgia value, Rusted Angel is an underground classic and holds up extremely well against today’s releases. Mandatory music.

[blipfm 72104633]

ARCH ENEMY – Khaos Legions

Set in the midst of a storyline/theme of societal anarchy and revolution, ARCH ENEMY follow up what is, arguably, the best album of their career in Rise of the Tyrant with Khaos Legions. The good news is that the new album is more or less in line with its predecessor in style and quality.

As with any ARCH ENEMY album, it’s all about the twin lead guitars of brothers Mike and Chris Amott bedazzling the listeners with their all around guitar talents. Those warm guitar tones, godly melodies, pristine death and thrash metal riffing, and beautiful guitar solos are all here again.

Vocalist Angela Gossow does her thing here – lots of emphasis on the enunciation of words, lots of effort and energy towards sounding savage and brutal, and that overall lack of power behind the vocals.

Khaos Legions starts out with plenty of energy but the 14-track record gradually loses momentum towards the last 1/3 of it. That’s not to say that the songs towards the end are bad per se. It’s more about the fact that by the eighth or ninth song, you get the idea of what the record is all about and don’t necessarily need any more material. Also, the lyrical themes of anarchy, unity, “us” vs. “them,” independence, and social revolution run thin as it’s safe to say that most ARCH ENEMY fans don’t take the band’s lyrics too seriously.

Those with keen ears will spot the little nods to heroes of the past with each ARCH ENEMY album. There are nods to JUDAS PRIEST and AMEBIX among others on this record.

There are no surprises on Khaos Legions but I don’t think that comes as a surprise at this point in the band’s career. It’s the band doing what they do…and they do it well. While it may not be as good as Rise of the Tyrant, Khaos Legions is a good ARCH ENEMY record. If you enjoy their godly guitar work and precise, pounding drumming, then you’ll be happy. (Century Media Records)

ARCH ENEMY Commence Recording New Studio Album

Swedish melodic death metal titan, ARCH ENEMY, has begun recording a new studio album, the long awaited successor to 2007’s acclaimed Rise of the Tyrant album. After releasing the Tyrants of the Rising Sun – Live in Japan live DVD/CD (2008) and the re-recordings album, The Root Of All Evil (2009), the band’s ninth studio album will mark a return to new, original material.

The yet-to-be-named album will be self-produced by ARCH ENEMY, and engineered/mixed by Rickard Bengtsson (whom produced 2005′s Doomsday Machine). The band has recently entered Sweetspot Studio in the south of Sweden for the album’s recording process.

Here is the first studio report from the band:

WITCHERY – Witchkrieg

After taking a breather in their respective other bands, namely THE HAUNTED, OPETH, and ARCH ENEMY, the members of WITCHERY offer Witchkrieg, the first album with vocalist Legion (ex-MARDUK) on board. Upon first glance, Legion’s vocals are much more varied than when he had the monotone screech in MARDUK – unfortunately, most of his vocals are masked by too many effects, which cheapens the excitement of the new vocalist.

Witchkrieg” opens with the crunchy, old school WITCHERY sound, with nice, crisp production, as the album starts off with a lot of promise. Kerry King’s trademark solo fits the opening track perfectly, and sounds completely in tune with the music. But the album is quite bi-polar, as a song like “The God Who Fell From Earth” opens with a bland nu-metal riff, and even guitar master Hank Shermann cannot save this blunder. “Conqueror’s Return” has a few headbanging riffs, but the layers of effects on the vocals make the song almost unbearable. Witchkrieg thrashes away with “The Reaver,” and the trade off solos from EXODUSGary Holt and Lee Altus show that this album has glimpses of brilliance.

Witchkrieg falls into the cliché of cheesy songwriting, as “From Dead to Worse” has a great opening, but the chorus is so bland that it sounds like Nathan Explosion of DETHKLOK is singing; fortunately, the solos from Andy LaRocque adds a nice flair to the end. “Devil Rides Out” is classic WITCHERY material, and “Hellhound” is a fast, brutal, and all out thrash attack.

Witchkrieg is an average effort, as there are good riffs scattered around here and there, but is mostly mediocre and somewhat disappointing. The band should always be looked upon as just a side project, as guitarist Jensen has used up all his good riffs in THE HAUNTED. While the plethora of guest musicians add a nice touch to the album, it’s safe to say that people have given this band more credit than they deserve. (Century Media Records)