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: No Rest for the Enemy

The demise of CARCASS in the mid-nineties spawned a metal beast known then by only the most dedicated underground metal fans in ARCH ENEMY. Fast forward to 2008, ARCH ENEMY are one of the most popular and well-recognized bands of metal today. Powered by the band’s unwavering work ethic, not to mention the guitar wizardy of brothers Michael and Chris Amott, and the prowess of singer Angela Gossow, ARCH ENEMY have birthed their latest (and perhaps finest hour), Rise of the Tyrant. APESHIT caught up with Michael Amott on the last night of their Fall U.S. tour with MACHINE HEAD to examine the band’s rise to the top and dissect the secret to their success.

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ARCH ENEMY – Rise of the Tyrant

Seven albums in with no signs of slowing down or softening up, ARCH ENEMY continues to raise the bar for the world of metal with their latest, Rise of the Tyrant. Faster and more aggressive than the band has been in years, Rise of the Tyrant also brings forth a much more organic sound than on the somewhat mechanical, clinical delivery of the album’s predecessor, Doomsday Machine. Drummer Daniel Erlandsson keeps the double-bass coming, driving “Blood on Your Hands,” “The Last Enemy,” “In this Shallow Grave,” and the punishing title track home. Meanwhile, the Amott brothers’ twin guitar harmonies, solos, and trickery create a virtual textbook in metal guitar by successfully balancing feeling, technique, and heaviness with ease. The band does lay off the throttle here and there such as on the catchy hook-laden “I Will Live Again” and “Revolution Begins.” The band’s love for NWOBHM shines through, creating fist-pumping anthems for the throngs of fans they’ll be playing to on one of their forthcoming tours. All in all, perhaps the most complete, consistent and balanced album from these masters of metal, and sure to be a pick by many for metal album of the year. (Century Media Records)

Christopher Amott Returns to ARCH ENEMY; The Amott Brothers Re-United!

ARCH ENEMY are pleased to be able to announce the return of original guitarist Christopher Amott. The band, having finished an intense 18-month touring cycle all over the world promoting the Doomsday Machine album and Live Apocalypse DVD, are currently busy working on songs for their new studio album.

Christopher surprised many by departing the band at the end of the Doomsday Machine recording sessions in 2005, having been in the band for 10 years (starting with ARCH ENEMY at age 18). Christopher followed his urges to see the world and find what else is out there apart from music. Having done that, the time is now right for him to return to the fold with a newly injected desire and focus and to resume his career.

Christopher states, “This is very exciting for me, returning to ARCH ENEMY as a fulltime member! Right now we are working on our forthcoming album, and I’m very pleased about the way it’s turning out. The new songs are fast and furious with lots of melody! To all the people who sent me kind messages while I was out of the band, thank you for your support; it helped me a lot. After this (much needed) two-year break, I’m looking forward to getting back on the road. I hope to see you all later this year!”

ARCH ENEMY mastermind Michael Amott compliments his younger brother Christopher perfectly in style and chemistry, and together they have become one of the most infamous and ripping guitar teams in extreme metal. Michael comments, “So, we are back with my brother Christopher on guitar – it’s a huge rush to have him back playing in his signature style! He’s jumped in at the end of the songwriting process for the new album and added some of his unique spice. I feel Christopher‘s playing has matured and is more precise and even faster than before! Guitar fans are going to freak out at the stuff we’re up to on the new album!”

The last two years have been the busiest and most successful touring campaign of ARCH ENEMY’s entire career, so many fans both old and especially new can now look forward to witnessing Christopher’s return to the stages of the world. In regards to Fredrik Ã…kesson, the Swedish guitar-wizard who has been touring with the band for 18 months and who can be seen on the band’s latest video clip for the song “My Apocalypse,” Michael comments, “I want to add that we are eternally grateful to Fredrik, who did an outstanding job with us over the past 18 months while we dragged the Doomsday Machine around the world a couple of times – YOU ARE FUCKING AWESOME!”

ARCH ENEMY have spent recent weeks locked in intense rehearsals at their homebase in Halmstad, Sweden, putting the final touches on their new material and integrating Christopher into the new songs for the forthcoming studio album. More news on this will follow shortly, so stay tuned.