Lunatic's Serenade

HEAD TO HEAD: with Arch Enemy

Arch Enemy
War Eternal
(Century Media)

We don't have this happen often at HMS, but two of our devoted music reviewers both wanted opportunities to review the new Arch Enemy release - War Eternal. Rather turn one of the reviewers down, I figured this would be a neat opportunity to post both reviews together and let our readership decide which one is better. You will probably be seeing this in the future once in a while, but I figured calling it Head to Head made sense. Tim Duran and Meathook Mike have both weighed in with their thoughts, so please read on:

Meathook Mike's review 8.5/10

Arch Enemy, a band that just changed vocalists and a guitarist. The forums on the internet are mixed with positives, doubts and uncertainties about the band and the music heard so far. I personally liked the song “War Eternal” when I first heard it and after hearing the whole album nothing has changed my opinion.

The big question however, does Alissa White-Gluz fill the considerable spot vacated by Ms. Gossow? Yes she does and throughout this album I hear a lot of things that I think she will harness and stamp onto the next AE album. She certainly has shown what she is capable of here. The extensive touring will certainly help her to put her own style on the older material. The shoes she stepped into were big shoes to fill but she has filled them well and there is enough of her considerable talent throughout War Eternal to leave the listener in no doubt that she was the right choice for the band.

As for War Eternal, this album finds Arch Enemy in fine form, the trademark melodies are here in abundance as are the heavy riffs and shredding guitar solos. The songs are very well written and structured and this album finds that Arch Enemy have become hungry again, the last couple of albums were, in my opinion almost lazy in feel and sounded tired. War Eternal kicks off with an instrumental before being blasting off with a statement of intent with “Never Forgive Never Forget”.

The title track is up next followed by “As the pages Burn”. I love the main riff of this song. Michael Amott’s trademark big, heavy riffs then massive melody, clearly on display throughout this album. The new partnership with Nick Cordle works and again bodes well for the future. My favourite tracks have to be “Avalanche”, with “Time Is Black” a close second. Both songs are balanced with melody and aggression. Ms. White-Gluz demonstrates throughout her range of growls and screams almost as if she has been in the band for a while now and as I pointed out before, the best is yet to come from this lady.

There are many good points to this album as it is a well balanced melodic death metal relesase and I would urge people to listen to it, after all the more opinions you read the more clouded your mind becomes. The proof they say, is in the eating.

Meathook Mike, HMS

Tim Duran's review 10/10

Before I begin, may I say what an honor it was to listen and review this work of art; a masterpiece of destruction and awesomeness. I speak of the mighty and terrible Arch Enemy (in context, "terrible" means "Killer", "neat-o" or "unfathomable coolness"). You might think that Angela Gossow (2000-2014) is irreplaceable. True. As she said in a statement she is "passing the torch". And the torch goes to another incredible voice talent...and Alissa White-Gluz is thy name. She kicks major gluteus max! With a new voice and the exceptional talents of the band, War Eternal, the 10th full length album will make your ears bleed.... then make you smile. So are you ready for some PURE F'N METAL??

You'll have to wait a minute (and 10 seconds) because "Tempore Nihil sanat" (in F minor) is a nice harpsichord intro to ease you into the abyss that is "Never Forgive/Never Forget". Alisson begins with a guttural scream to let you know that she aint foolin' around!

"War Eternal" will turn you inside out and then let you bleed out. Perfect in execution, the dual axes blaze and the rhythm section is surgical in its attack. Have a fire extinguisher handy for "As the pages burn". Your CD player will ignite itself as the solo singes your brain (there's even a taste of Beethoven before the solo - let me know if you catch it.). "No more Regrets" and "You will know my Name" are just killer.... 'nuff said.

Another little ditty "Graveyard of Dreams" glides you to the brutality that is "Stolen Life". This one robs you of sanity as you drool uncontrollably. 44 seconds of sweetness fills you happy thoughts of flowers and pickles... until the main riff of "Time is Black" rips your face off. Brutal double-kick action sucker punches you and the tremolo picking of the guitars and bass end your existence. I wish the next song "On and On" would play on and on. The chord progression is intense (as the rest) and the dual lead section is nice too.

You'll need a down jacket and a shovel for the next one, because "Avalanche" will bury you alive! Every snare hit is another ton of snow hammering you deeper into the white darkness. My daughter of 17yrs says the music is like Skillet-meets-Nox Arcana and the vocals remind her of "Sweating Bullets" by Megadeth - that's my girl!

"Down to Nothing" is so insane! It's like being stuck in a kill box, and the machine-gun fire won’t stop...then you die. Only to resurrect and die again from the slow death that is "Not long for this World". So may you get to heaven an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

This record proves that Arch Enemy is a driving force and will run you down if you get in the way. All-in-all, this record kills. Clear vocals, ripping guitars, drums that are constant and the bass gets in some licks too. I knew this would be a good listen but I was not prepared to be torn to pieces. This is death metal perfection and this is a perfect 10 (and the singer too...)

Please support metal and get stuff from and/or If you don't ,Angela and Alissa will scream till your head explodes and you won’t hear anything.....again!

Tim Duran, HMS

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