Arch Enemy

Album Review: Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions

Angela Gossow has always scared me. The noises she manages to unleash upon the world are both hellish and amazing. Ever since I first heard We Will Rise years and years ago, I always held a fondness for a band that was so damn metal and had a female singer who could growl with the best of them, and yet that singer never resorted to being all sexual or relying on physical appearance for success.

It is good to see that Arch Enemy know to stick with what works. You will not find any clean vocals on ‘Khaos Legions’ or any catchy hooks and, for the most part, that is completely fine. This is familiarly heavy, aggressive stuff.

The melodic guitars that are a staple of Arch Enemy albums are more prominent than ever. While I do not think anything quite reaches the perfection of ‘Nemesis’ from ‘Doomsday Machine’, the Amott Arch Enemy Artworkbrothers are on fine form, especially on the latter half of the album. ‘Cult of Chaos’ has an intro not a million miles away from the 2005 track, but develops into a riff-filled, blastbeat-heavy beast of a creation, which still manages to fit some trademark melody in amongst the chaos.

The immediate standout track for me has got to be ‘Vegeance is Mine’ – from the drum fill intro, the urgent guitar riffs and the utterly intense vocals to the very fine solos, this song in particular sums up everything that Arch Enemy are about.

While some albums peak way too early, ‘Khaos Legion’ gets off to a very slow start. It took about six or seven tracks until I heard something that really grabbed my attention. Thankfully, from then on, the album is consistent and feels fresh and new. The first half of the album suffers from being similar sounding, with a distinct lack of variation. Several songs blend together, and at almost five minutes long, there is simply not enough ideas in each of those songs to warrant that length of time.

At 14 tracks ‘Khaos Legion’ is overlong – it could definitely benefit from losing some tracks from the first half of the album. There are rewards for those who stick with it though, and once Arch Enemy hit their stride, it is hard to stop the genius that keeps on flowing.

Rating: 6

     

About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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