Arch Enemy - Anthems of Rebellion
Century Media
Evolved Melodic Death Metal
13 songs (43:20)
Release year: 2003
Arch Enemy, Century Media
Reviewed by Jay
Major event

One of the front-runners in the Swedish metal wars has been Arch Enemy. With the release of their fifth album, we see the band taking some new turns, keeping some old standbys and throwing in some new tricks just to see if we noticed. I am pleased to say that this release does live up to their catalogue. Some people will pick on this album for being too nu or selloutish but I can assure you that this one is pure metal.

The Amott brothers have returned again to demolish our sonic landscape with crushing metal tunes. The guitar sound is virtually identical to that of Wages of Sin with some minor adjustments. The drumming is perfect once again and it seems to be more aggressive than ever. Keyboards factor into this release much more than any other. Nearly every verse and every chorus are full of thick keyboard overtones and samples. Angela Gossow is, for lack of a better word, awesome. She has really honed her vocals and can use her throat as a weapon. The vocals here lean more towards the black metal style of singing. At first it is hard to fathom that a woman is singing but after a while you can detect the subtle qualities that no man has in his voice. While she chooses effects on some songs, rest assured that she does not disappoint.

We Will Rise” is the first single and a song of note. It sounds like something Soilwork had left over from the Figure Number Five sessions. The thick guitar attack with the crushing drums play well off the magnificent soloing and the disturbing vocals. Keyboards abound during the verses along with samples. If people call Arch Enemy sellouts over this song, it’s a shame since this is what metal is supposed to be. “Leader of the Rats” may have a comical title but the guitar brothers show us how to rock out. The riff is spectacular and Angela’s vocals play off the bouncy tempo well. What is interesting is the very beginning intro, which is repeated several times. It’s only a few seconds long but reminiscent of “Surfacing” by Slipknot of all bands. It’s a small detail but one that I noticed. Before you scream “Posers!” listen to the song and see how much it kills. The next track, “Exist to Exit” has an ominous intro. The song follows in the same motif. Screaming guitars and keys accentuate the mood. It has a cool solo but overall this song is a clock-watcher.

I maintain that all albums should get you excited to listen to them from the first song. In this case, the opener track “Silent Wars” functions exactly as it should. A nice fast tempo with fast riffing and double bass certainly works for me. Amott shows off his soloing skills early on with this gem. The craft that goes into making an album like this is definitely apparent in this song. For quality metal, this album is hard to beat. “Marching on a Dead Road” is a short instrumental, which is a total rip-off of “The Call of Cthulu.” While serving as an intro to “Despicable Heroes” (“Disposable Heroes” anyone?), it functions well but I could not get over the fact that this was shamelessly lifted from Metallica. “Despicable Heroes” is similar to earlier albums.

While it is a great album brimming with goodies, it seems to me that Wages of Sin needed a stronger follow up. Don’t get me wrong. This album kills and I recommend you buy it but Wages of Sin just blew me away and this only managed to get my hair standing on end.

Killing Songs :
Silent Wars, Leader of the Rats, Saints and Sinners, We Will Rise
Jay quoted 86 / 100
Alex quoted 76 / 100
Keegan quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Arch Enemy that we have reviewed:
Arch Enemy - War Eternal reviewed by Joel and quoted 89 / 100
Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions reviewed by Tony and quoted 87 / 100
Arch Enemy - Stigmata reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Arch Enemy - Tyrants Of The Rising Sun - Live In Japan reviewed by Pete and quoted no quote
Arch Enemy - Rise Of The Tyrant reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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