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 to Release The Root of All Evil on October 6th

Sweden’s ARCH ENEMY will be unleashing their new album, The Root of All Evil, on October 6th (September 28th in Europe) through Century Media RecordsThe Root of All Evil is a special release featuring a selection of re-recorded songs from the band’s first three albums, Black Earth, Stigmata, and Burning Bridges.

Guitarist Michael Amott comments: “This one took some time to get done, despite the fact that the actual songs were already written a good few years ago! The album was recorded at a few different locations locally here in Sweden – produced by ARCH ENEMY, with Daniel Erlandsson (Drums) handling a lot of the engineering. It was then sent to Andy Sneap in England for the mixing/mastering and I simply can’t stop listening to this since I got the final mixes!”

Regarding further details of the process, Amott adds: “We basically headed down to our rehearsal studio, got reacquainted with the tunes, picked out our favorites and proceeded to give a breath of new life to those early songs, with the idea to have the possibility to re-add them to the live set and follow up with some touring activity! I’m loving hearing these songs with a fresh new sound and performance, everyone in the band did a killer job on it – especially Angela’s vocal performance is astoundingly intense and brutal and it was also cool to hear Sharlee lay down some great bass tracks on the early songs! The production and mix is crushing and heavy as hell – it really makes these old songs shine – it sounds like a brand new thing!”.

In the meantime, the band have a full summer of festival touring ahead throughout Europe, Asia, and then a headlining tour of Australia with support from SUFFOCATION and WINDS OF PLAGUE.

“Summer Tyranny 2009”:
29-June-2009 @ Rockwave Festival (Greece)
09-July-2009 @ Norway Rock Festival (Norway)
10-July-2009 @ Rockweekend Kilafors (Sweden)
11-July-2009 @ Rock Harz Open Air (Germany)
12-July-2009 @ Masters Of Rock (Czech Republic)
17-July-2009 @ Uni Rock Festival, Istanbul (Turkey)
18-July-2009 @ ProRock Festival – Kiev (Ukraine)
24-July-2009 @ Zwarte Cross Festival (The Netherlands)
25-July-2009 @ Lorca Rock Festival (Spain)
14-August-2009 @ Bloodstock Open Air (England)

Mexican Tour – August 2009:
20-August-2009 Mexico City, Mexico @ Circo Volador
22-August-2009 Monterrey, Mexico @ Café Iguana

Asian Tour – October 2009:
17-October-2009 @ Loud Park 09, Tokyo (Japan)
18-October-2009 @ Liberty Square – Taipei (Taiwan)
20-October-2009 @ World Trade Center – Manila (Philippines)
21-October-2009 @ Hitec Auditorium – Kowloon (Hong Kong)
23-October-2009 @ The Star Live House – Beijing (China)
25-October-2009 @ Venue TBA – Seoul (Republic Of Korea)
28-October-2009 @ Senayan Tennis Indoor Stadium – Jakarta (Indonesia)

Australian Tour – November 2009:
01-November-2009 @ Capitol, Perth*
03-November-2009 @ Fowlers Live, Adelaide*
05-November-2009 @ The Forum, Melbourne**
06-November-2009 @ The Roundhouse, Sydney**
07-November-2009 @ The Hifi, Brisbane**
* with SUFFOCATION / ** with SUFFOCATION & WINDS OF PLAGUE

CARCASS Recounts North American Tour Experience

Reformed death metal/grindcore legends CARCASS recently completed their first North American tour since embarking on a reunion trek early this year. Guitarist Michael Amott (ARCH ENEMY) commented on what their recent touring experience was like:

“What a tour! So many sold-out shows and fantastic, bordering on fanatical response from the fans everywhere we went! I’d like to thank the fans in the US/Canada/Mexico for waiting patiently and remaining fans all these years – and for coming out in such big numbers on the tour.

“For me personally it’s been quite emotional playing THOSE songs with THOSE guys again – really cool and almost too much fun. Playing the festivals in Europe over the summer was amazing, but I have to admit that I prefer being on tour playing every night in clubs – that’s when you get tight as a band and become a solid unit.

“Highlights? Without lying I’d have say that every night was special, it was just that kind of tour for me – but the NYC show at the sold-out Nokia Theatre was exceptionally killer, and Ken Owen (original CARCASS drummer) flew out for that one so the vibe was just incredible! That was the kind of night when you wish that the cameras were rolling.”

Regarding the other bands on the tour and the people behind the scenes who made it all happen the guitarist continued:

“The other bands on the bill were all excellent – SUFFOCATION, 1349, ABORTED and ROTTEN SOUND – they all killed it, I’m very happy that they could be a part of the ‘Exhumed To Consume’ tour!

“Special thanks to all the cool people that made the tour happen the way it did; Ash at TKO booking, Gerardo and his awesome Nuclear Blast team, and Albert Mudrian at DECIBEL magazine. Thanks for making the tour a special one!

“I’d also like to thank my endorsers Dean Guitars, Randall Amps and Digitech effects for their friendship and supplying the ‘tools of the trade’ that I need to get the job done!

“Now we are en route to Australia/New Zealand and Japan, KEEP ON ROTTING!”

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)

CARCASS to Reunite for Wacken 2008

Legendary British death metal band, CARCASS, will reunite for next year’s Wacken Open Air festival. Bassist/vocalist, Jeff Walker, issued the following statement on behalf of the band:

“Well, they said it would never happen. In fact I said it would never happen. Then I noticed no one pays attention to what I say anyway and I sounded like an idiot…

“Summer 2008 will be the twentieth anniversary since the release of CARCASS‘ first studio album. It will be fourteen years since we last played live. We’ve decided to exhume the old corpse next Summer at Wacken. The timing is purely coincidental – it’s been a long journey to get to this point where myself, Bill Steer and Mike Amott (ARCH ENEMY) have enough common desire again to make it possible. We’re finally conceding to the demand that seems to be at an all time high and doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. Any past reasons we may have had for not wanting to do it, or thinking it was impossible, have simply dissipated in the face of overwhelming interest in us performing THOSE riffs for a generation of believers who never had the opportunity back in the day. We could say we’re doing it for ‘the kids’ – but fuck that! We’re doing it ‘cos it will be fun again to play the classic CARCASS tunes!! Of course it would seem inappropriate for us to contemplate to do this without Ken Owen, but I assure you he’ll be there, and we’ll push some sticks in his hands and make him play, plus we’ll have a killer drummer to sit in and play HIS parts.

“Myself, Jeff Walker, on bass and vocals, ‘the semi-legendary’ Bill Steer and Mike Amott on lead guitar and Daniel Erlandsson (ARCH ENEMY), filling in for Ken on drums, look forwards to mutilating your hearing.

“And if we don’t do it? Who else will overshadow the LED ZEPPELIN reunion?

“Ha!

“Prepare to rot and roll.”

Next year’s Wacken Open Air (official website) is set to take place July 31 through August 2, 2008.

ARCH ENEMY Live Apocalypse DVD Now Available; Prepare For Gigantour

ARCH ENEMY‘s highly anticipated double disc DVD set, Live Apocalypse, is now available just in time for the group’s triumphant return to the U.S. on Gigantour this September. A new e-card is now available that features two videos taken from the DVD for the tracks, “Ravenous” and “My Apocalypse,” along with a new photo gallery. You can view the e-card by clicking the following link: http://www.centurymedia.com/ae_liveapocalypse/

Mike Amott (guitars) describes his thoughts on the DVD: “The Live Apocalypse DVD shaped up to be an ultra cool 2-disc affair, and I honestly couldn’t be happier with it. The main show is from The Forum in London, UK (December ’04), and we also have footage from Manchester, UK in December ’05 (there are 3 songs from that show). There are tons of extras and special features, as there should be. The artwork was also handled by Niklas Sundin of Cabin Fever Media. Andy Sneap‘s audio mix (5.1 and stereo) is so heavy; it almost blew my speakers out! He really captured the live feel and power of the show; it’s like you are right there in the audience. Brilliant! This DVD crushes some of my favorite metal DVDs from my own collection – and I have a sick collection.”

The Gigantour trek, which features the legendary MEGADETH alongside LAMB OF GOD, OPETH and labelmates INTO ETERNITY, among others, will be the group’s fourth and final U.S. run in support of their highly acclaimed album, Doomsday Machine, which debuted at #87 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.