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Arch Enemy: Will to Power

Will to Power is the latest Century Media release from Swedish melodic death metal kingpins Arch Enemy, and second to feature ex-The Agonist vocalist Alissa White-Gluz. It's also the first album appearance for former Nevermore shredder Jeff Loomis, who sits alongside founder Michael Amott to comprise one of the most formidable guitar teams in metal. Rounding out the band as always are bassist Sharlee D'Angelo and drummer Daniel Erlandsson.

No real surprises here on Will to Power, though ultimately I think it's a stronger effort than 2014's War Eternal, which was a decent, if 'by the numbers' release from the band. Here' Alissa seems to have settled into her role in the band nicely, and not just as 'Angela's replacement', her growls fierce and even allowed to utilize her clean vocals in a few spots, the first time actually that clean vocals have been included on an Arch Enemy album. Fret not though, they are used very sparingly, as this is still a pretty brutal album. "The Eagle Flies Alone" sees Alissa doing some gentle whispers in a few spots but going for the jugular for the most part amid some crushing riffs and breakneck rhythms. Amott and Loomis tear it up on "Blood in the Water" and "The World is Yours", while the melodic "Murder Scene" features those gorgeous melodic vocals I mentioned above, pairing off with venomous growls and thunderous riffs. As far as maniacal death metal with shredding guitars so, look no further than "First Da in Hell", the grinding "Saturnine", and the brutal "A Fight I Must Win". However, it's the more progressive tunes that really surprise here, like the complex "My Shadow and I" and the chugging yet futuristic sounding closer "Set Flame to the Night", both having some symphonic elements, a varied attack from White-Gluz, and plenty of complex riffery, the latter even throwing in some strings for good measure.

If there's a downside here, it's that Loomis doesn't make as huge of a first splash and many of us expected. He and Amott do impress mightily together, but he doesn't so much stand out as simply fit in. It also doesn't appear that he took part in much of any of the writing, so time will tell whether this is a long term fit or just a quick 'hired gun' assignment till something else comes along or Nevermore decide to get back on the horse. Either way, Will to Power is a very solid release from this veteran band, and shows them bringing some different elements to the table, which, is a good thing in this writers opinion.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. "The Race" (instrumental)
2. "Blood in the Water"
3. "The World Is Yours"
4. "The Eagle Flies Alone"
5. "Reason to Believe"
6. "Murder Scene"
7. "First Day in Hell"
8. "Saturnine" (instrumental)
9. "Dreams of Retribution"
10. "My Shadow and I"
11. "A Fight I Must Win"
12. Set Flame to the Night

Added: September 23rd 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1394
Language: english

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