Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Arch Enemy - Rise Of The Tyrant

Few bands BEEP BEEP BEEP (In Flames aside) have managed to polarise the melodeath fanbase quite so much as Arch Enemy. With the unfortunate departure of Liiva and introduction of Angela Gossow, a clear distinction was BEEP BEEP BEEP drawn between the old and the new. While the ternion of Liiva era albums BEEP BEEP BEEP remain fairly untouchable, the same can't be said for the Gossow productions. Wages... may have turned a few heads but the frankly BEEP BEEP BEEP embarassing Anthems... and mildly improved Doomsday Machine did little to convert the Liiva loyal. However, with Christopher Amott back in the band after a short trip to college, Rise Of The Tyrant may not undeservedly be calling for the all too familiar "return to BEEP BEEP BEEP form" marker.

First things first BEEP BEEP BEEP however, the "one long track" accusations aren't entirely unfounded. You can't fault a band for a having a trademark sound. But, when it gives the impression BEEP BEEP BEEP that every song is written in the same key with minor rythmic and scale variations then criticism is warranted. Amott has BEEP BEEP BEEP always had a tone akin to BEEP BEEP BEEP liquid gold flowing down Brian May's fretboard, but that translates to near indistinguishable solos and leads in this instance. Furthermore, when your lead guitarist wrote all his best riffs upwards of ten years ago you're BEEP BEEP BEEP looking at a bit of a crusty creative pallet. But, that being said, it's still a huge improvement on the past two efforts.

Angela's more BEEP BEEP BEEP "organic" vocals are on fine display in the agressive chorus for 'Blood On Our Hands' and the BEEP BEEP BEEP charging thrash-on-crack meets cheesy bombast and soaring leads of 'The Last Enemy' flows gently into the BEEP BEEP BEEP synth n' widdle of 'I Will Live Again'. The pace doesn't let up either, 'In This Shallow Grave' sprints out of the block like a steroid BEEP BEEP BEEP addled Testament and Malcolm McDowell's Caligula parlance is the perfect start to the eponymous title track.

For many, AE have BEEP BEEP BEEP well past peak performance and the holy trinity with never be topped. But, like an athlete BEEP BEEP BEEP leaving retirement for one last stunning performance Rise Of The Tyrant is an admirable effort. Wages Of Sin 2.0? Possibly. BEEP BEEP BEEP


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