So 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)