Precious few bands can consistently create genuine heavy metal anthems as much as Arch Enemy. Since the arrival of talismanic vocalist Angela Gossow on 2001's Wages Of Sin, Arch Enemy have been a very consistent band, with an instantly distinguishable branch of purely anthemic melodic death metal. Albums such as Anthems Of Rebellion and of course Doomsday Machine have seen this band become one of contemporary metal's strongest and most reliable but breathtaking bands. New album, Khaos Legions not only follows this pattern but is certainly one of their strongest albums, almost matching the strength of Doomsday Machine.
Michael Amott's involvement over the last couple of years with the legendary Carcass is one reason for the long gap between this and 2007's Rise Of The Tyrant, and the influence of the considerably heavier Carcass has undoubtedly had an affect on the writing of Khaos Legions. This is considerably heavier than previous albums and less melodic, but this isn't a drastic shift in style, this is still undeniably Arch Enemy from first listen. The heavier style is noticeable but not majorly different for them.
Instrumental opener Khaos Overture is immediate evidence that the Amott brothers are still shredding as fast as ever, before creeping into a menacing spoken word speech alerting to the rise of "...a god less entity, they are the Khaos Legions". A major statement of intent to the rage and ferocity that is in store, and before you have time to think, you are immediately thrust into the already anthemic lead single Yesterday Is Dead And Gone. This from the off is where we can see the heavier, thrashier riffing at work yet is still without a doubt Arch Enemy, guaranteed to bludgeon on the live scene.
Angela Gossow gives one of her strongest vocal performances here as well. Never one to fail to give stunning, powerful rage fuelled performances, yet again Angela gives an intimidating and rousing display. This is music built to empower you, and Angela certainly portrays this throughout on the excellent Bloodstained Cross, the battle cry of Under Black Flags We March and the heavy as a sack of anvils Through The Eyes Of A Raven.
This is a very strong album by one of the best and most important contemporary metal bands. This is an album which will stand strong as a contender for the years best, and should stand up as one of the bands all time great works for years to come.
Listen to: Yesterday Is Dead And Gone, Bloodstained Cross, Through The Eyes Of A Raven