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Arch Enemy: Rise of the Tyrant

I might be in the minority of those who think that Doomsday Machine and Anthems of Rebellion hold up quite well to the genius that is Wages of Sin, Burning Bridges, and Stigmata in the Arch Enemy discography. The Angela Gossow material has been extremely strong in my opinion, and while Doomsday Machine (the band's last release) probably lacks the ferocity of some of their earlier albums, it more than made up for it with catchy melodies and plenty of smokin' guitar work. Well, here we are in late 2007, and the Swedish melodic death metal merchants have seemingly heard some of the grumbling from their dedicated fanbase and released their heaviest and most brutal album in years, the intense Rise of the Tyrant. Sure to be a decent seller for Century Media (Doomsday Machine was a big success for the band and label), this latest sees Arch Enemy easing up somewhat on the melodic hooks, but cranking the riffs & solos up another notch, which should be a big plus for extreme metal fans. Angela's vocals are also less bathed in effects this time around, much more raw and deadly than she has sounded since Wages of Sin. In fact, if you have witnessed the band live, she sounds on this one much like she does in concert, her merciless growls evil and full of menacing intent.

One huge thing to celebrate here is the return of Christopher Amott, who returns after about a two year break to stand alongside his brother Michael to once again reunite one of the hottest guitar teams in metal history. The two sound pleasantly excited to be ripping it up again, evidenced by the smoking solos and intricate riffs of songs like "In This Shallowed Grave", "Blood On Your Hands", "I Will Live Again", "Vultures", and the crushing title track. Gossow's gore soaked vocals and Sharlee D'Angelo's muscular bass grooves propel the melodic "Revolution Begins" (this album's answer to "Nemesis") and the hot instrumental "Intermesso Liberte" lets Michael Amott show why he is considered one of the brightest stars on the metal scene. Let's not forget the rampaging drum attack of Daniel Erlandsson, whose nimble yet powerful blasts on "Night Falls Fast" perfectly plays off the monstrous riffs of the Amott brothers and Angela's demonic growls.

The majority of the lyrics here were written by Angela, and are of the dark, lurid variety, and it makes for some entertaining reading while you are following along with the crushing yet highly melodic death metal arrangements. Rise of the Tyrant, after nearly a dozen listens, is proving to be an extremely memorable and enjoyable metal album, and perhaps one of the band's strongest to date. There's no shortage of jaw-dropping solos from the Amott brothers (check out the two going to town on the finale "Vultures"), monstrous riffage, catchy melodies, crashing rhythms, dollops of atmospheric keyboards here and there, and Angela Gossow's commanding vocal growls. All these elements are laid out to near perfection here, making Rise of the Tyrant one of 2007's strongest releases.

Track Listing

  1. Blood Is On Your Hands
  2. The Last Enemy
  3. I Will Live Again
  4. In This Shallow Grave
  5. Revolution Begins
  6. Rise of the Tyrant
  7. The Day You Died
  8. Intermesso Liberte
  9. Night Falls Fast
  10. The Great Darkness
  11. Vultures

Added: October 1st 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Arch Enemy Website
Hits: 3875
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Arch Enemy: Rise of the Tyrant
Posted by Bill on 2007-12-28 01:52:32
My Score:

This was a great album. I relistened to all there albums from the beginning. Although they were beginning to lose the powerful riff of Stigmata and even Black Earth, this album was certainly a turn around. I also want to add that you are not alone with your thoughts on Doomsday Machine and Anthems of Rebellion. Although the riffs seem recycled, they are two of the great albums in metal.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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