Arch Enemy are back! Not that they’ve been completely gone, given that they just released the re-issue of Black Earth with lots of bonus tracks last year, but, still, their last studio album, Khaos Legions, was released back in 2011, so it’s understandable that their fans — like us — have been thirsting for a new album. And if this single version of “War Eternal” is any indication, the new album is going to be brutal. Meanwhile, it’s immediately obvious that new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz is one hell of a force to be reckoned with, her voice having more than an air of originality while being similar enough to her friend Angela Gossow’s style to mesh perfectly with the band. Hearing her sing the group’s back catalogue on their next tour should prove awe-inspiring, casting the songs in a more than captivating new light without making any waves that would offend longtime fans.
Arch Enemy have been pumping out their unique brand of melodic death metal for 18 years now. No small amount of time. And to remain a huge force in metal after all of these years says something about the band’s ability to look beyond trendy gimmicks and stay true to what they do. Other bands try to ride the wave of whatever sub-genre is popular when they’re releasing their latest albums and wind up with a bunch of albums that all sound quickly out-dated. There’s never been any of that bullshit with Arch Enemy and that clearly is one of the main reasons why they’ve had such staying power, even with the occasional line-up changes. They know their brand and they refuse to tarnish it. And yet they have undeniably grown as artists from album to album, too, always widening their lyrical horizons, expanding the arrangements of their songs, etc. A big WELCOME BACK to them!