Label: Century Media
“I think we took a ‘more is more’ approach to this record.”
So says ARCH ENEMY guitarist Michael Amott when referring the band’s new platter of mayhem, Khaos Legions. Not that they’ve ever tackled any aspects of their career with a half-baked attitude, but the approach was particularly important after four years of creative silence.
The band has been far from quiet since the 2007 release of Rise Of The Tyrant, of course. During the extensive tour cycle for the album, ARCH ENEMY saw fit to preserve their trademark sonic violence on the live 2008 record, Tyrants Of The Rising Sun, returning to the studio a year later to re-record some of their early work and live fan favourites for The Root Of All Evil. Amott will be the first to tell you, however, that he and his bandmates have been waiting a long time to create something brand new from the ground up.
“Root Of All Evil was cool to do,” Amott insists, “but it wasn’t really creative at all. None of that material was new to us. We were itching to get into the studio and record all the things we’ve been talking about backstage for the last few years. We knew we had to come back with something really good because it’s been four years since the Rise Of The Tyrant album. We’ve kept the fans waiting long enough.”
Khaos Legions was well worth the wait. A solid 14 tracks – 11 songs and three instrumental passages – it’s an album that immediately recalls Anthems Of Rebellion (2003) and Doomsday Machine (2005), considered up to this point to be ARCH ENEMY’s two strongest outings to date. Loaded with the Amott brothers’ trademark guitar shred, spearheaded by vocalist Angela Gossow’s instantly recognizable hell-hath-no-fury delivery, all backed by the Sharlee D’Angelo / Daniel Erlandsson bass / drum high energy stomp, Khaos Legions features the band’s trademark extreme metal execution coupled with some eyebrow-raising surprises along the way.
Eight studio albums and 15 years into their career, Khaos Legions is ARCH ENEMY’s iron “You are here!” stamp that hits like a ton of bricks.
“This album is kind of nuts,” says Amott. “It’s a very exciting record for me because it encapsulates everything that Arch Enemy is about. It was written over a four year period, so I think that’s why it’s got a lot of depth and girth to it”
Simply put, no diehard ARCH ENEMY fan should go away dissatisfied. The tracks ‘Yesterday Is Dead And Gone’, ‘Under Black Flags We March’, ‘Thorns In My Flesh’ and ‘City Of The Dead’ are examples of the five piece wrecking crew people have come to expect. On the other side of the coin, ‘Bloodstained Cross’ features Michael and Chris Amott exploring new shred-head territory, while ‘Cruelty Without Beauty’, ‘Cult Of Chaos’ and the scathing ‘Vengeance Is Mine’ feature some of the most aggressive work from the band to date.
In addition, ‘Through The Eyes Of A Raven’ is easily the band’s most adventurous song in years; progressive and dark, what Amott feels “has a Scandinavian feel to it, with a melancholic Nordic thing going on in the chorus.” Certainly a different side of the band, yet they retain every ounce of trademark aggression.
The biggest surprise of all, however, is the bordering-on-death-rock ‘No Gods, No Masters’, a definite echo of ARCH ENEMY’s anthem ‘We Will Rise’ that is guaranteed to raise the ire of some fans even as it is embraced by others.
Gossow sums Khaos Legions up in one sentence, unapologetic as always: “We went all over the place with this album. Take it or leave it.”
|Michael Amott||Lead Guitars|
|Christopher Amott||Lead Guitars|