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)