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Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions

Arch Enemy
Khaos Legions
by Mike Novak at 14 April 2011, 12:01 PM

It is hard to believe that it has been four years since ARCH ENEMY’s previous album, “Rise of the Tyrant.” Granted, they did release a live album, as well as a horrible album of re-recordings from the band’s earlier years. However, four years is still a long time for a band that would be best served in capitalizing from the momentum gained from constant touring and the success of their last album.

Back when they first formed in the mid-90’s, ARCH ENEMY were a band that took a more technical approach to melodic death metal, as opposed to fellow countrymen like IN FLAMES or DARK TRANQUILLITY. However, since the arrival of vocalist Angela Gassow, they have streamlined their sound. Each album after her arrival, starting with 2001’s “Wages of Sin,” has become more simplified and, dare I say, catchy. Yeah, the growls are still there, no clean vocals to be found, but the choruses and instrumentation under the vocals are so simple that at times, the music sounds like down-tuned hair metal. The problem here is that the hooks are not very strong and Gassow is a terrible vocalist.

Yesterday is Dead and Gone” and especially “Bloodstained Cross” hold up well against the Gassow-era back catalogue, but the majority of the music is in one ear and out of the other. Even some nice death metal riffs, like in the beginning of “Through the Eyes of a Raven” and “Cult of Chaos” are overwhelmed by assembly-line riffs and music. Much like the most recent NEVERMORE album, it seems like the songwriters of this album tried as hard as possible to keep any of the music from being overly complex.

I’m sure “Khaos Legions” will appeal to anyone unfamiliar with the more extreme sub-genres of metal, but any fans of the older albums will be disappointed with what they hear here. The lyrics are laughable, the songwriting has had any edges smoothed out and even the Amott brothers’ guitar playing is lacking. This may be a calculated move to broaden the fan-base, but ARCH ENEMY is going to realize that they are losing their original fans in the process.

2 Star Rating

1. Khaos Overture (Instrumental)
2. Yesterday Is Dead And Gone
3. Bloodstained Cross
4. Under Black Flags We March
5. No Gods, No Masters
6. City Of The Dead
7. Through The Eyes Of A Raven
8. Cruelty Without Beauty
9. We Are A Godless Entity (Instrumental)
10. Cult Of Chaos
11. Thorns In My Flesh
12. Turn To Dust (Instrumental)
13. Vengeance Is Mine
14. Secrets
Angela Gossow - Vocals
Michael Amott - Guitar
Christopher Amott - Guitar
Sharlee D'Angelo - Bass
Daniel Erlandsson - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records


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Edited 28 May 2023

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