ARCH ENEMY – War Eternal

Arch Enemy - War EternalSo big news over this album is the debut of new (female) vocalist Alissa White-Gluz (ex-THE AGONIST).  Did you really think that ARCH ENEMY would ever replace Angela Gossow with a male vocalist?  C’mon, man.

So how does Alissa stack up?  Her voice is stronger than Angela‘s.  Thus, you don’t hear the blatant studio magic used to cover for the shortcomings in Angela‘s abilities.  As War Eternal progresses, it is easy to grow weary and tired of Alissa‘s vocals because they are simply not that good, and her vocal inflections and patterns are repetitive.  Don’t get me started on her laughable, over exaggerated facial expressions and stage moves.

On the other hand, as can be expected, the instrumental components of War Eternal are as rock solid and as technically proficient as they’ve always been.   The band stays true to their trademark melodic death metal sound.  Expect much of that killer ARCH ENEMY-level musicianship.  There are many absolutely fine riffs and solos.  You cannot deny those melting, sweet Amott-style melodies.  While Nick Cordle is no Chris Amott, he gets the job done.

Overall, War Eternal is what it is.  Nothing more, nothing less.  As longtime metal warriors, we know one thing: Michael Amott‘s music is something that is always worth checking out.   (Century Media Records)

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)