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Arch Enemy: Khaos Legions

Not many bands divide the extreme metal masses quite like Sweden's Arch Enemy. To some, their brand of melodic death metal, rich with guitar thunder from the Amott brothers and the evil growls of Angela Gossow, is an exciting mixing of extreme metal with power metal overtones, that despite the brutality of it all the music remains quite catchy & memorable. For others, Arch Enemy has been making the same album over and over for years, and the vocals are overproduced, generic, and laughable. This band has always been the 'cool' death metal act to be into if you weren't really a bonafide death metal fan, cause the music is somewhat brutal, the guitar work is usually killer, and they have a hot blonde chick singing death metal growls. Fashionable? To many yes, but to a growing number of metal fans, the band is becoming less and less relevant. Will Khaos Legions change anyone's opinion? Probably not, but it's a good album nontheless.

The tried and true Arch Enemy formula is perfectly on display here throughout Khaos Legions. Angela's 'broken glass in the throat' growls are at their lethal best on cuts "Cult of Chaos", "Bloodstained Cross", "Yesterday Is Dead And Gone", and "City of the Dead", and Daniel Erlandsson certainly plays his ass off throughout on the drums. Expect a wide variety of scorching, sizzling, searing, and emotional guitar solos from Michael and Christopher Amott, which is what we all expect from the duo, but to these ears there's a lack of really memorable riffs on the album, a trend that's been growing over the last few releases. While it's fine and enjoyable to hear the many Schenker styled leads, a classic death metal album does not survive on guitar solos alone, and needs plenty of super crunchy riffs to really be successful. "Thorns In My Flesh", "No Gods, No Masters", "Vengeance Is Mine", and "Under Black Flags We March" certainly deliver big time on the riff-o-rama, but Khaos Legions really needed more of these killer guitar anthems to make this album one of the elite in their discography.

All this might sound as if I am coming down on Khaos Legions, but I'm really not. This is just what you would expect from Arch Enemy, on par with Rise of the Tyrant, though not quite as killer as Doomsday Machine, Wages of Sin, or Anthems of Rebellion, the other original releases in the Gossow era. I think the band are settled into a zone now, and any deviation from it is probably not going to happen. Sure, there's better, and certainly more original & legitimate death metal to be found out there, but let's face it, these guys have this formula down pat, and it's pretty damn enjoyable to listen to. Ultimately, that's not a bad thing, and neither is Khaos Legions. Very good melodic death metal with shredding guitars, nothing more, nothing less. If that's your thing, you'll find plenty to enjoy here, if not, there's always plenty of other extreme acts out there to sink your teeth into.

Track Listing
01. Khaos Overture
02. Yesterday Is Dead And Gone
03. Bloodstained Cross
04. Under Black Flags We March
05. No Gods, No Masters
06. City Of The Dead
07. Through The Eyes Of A Raven
08. Cruelty Without Beauty
09. We Are A Godless Entity
10. Cult Of Chaos
11. Thorns In My Flesh
12. Turn To Dust
13. Vengeance Is Mine
14. Secrets

Added: June 19th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2541
Language: english

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