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)

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