I know, okay? You hardcore fans would like to have Angela Gossow back, but you know what? Ain’t gonna happen and Alissa White-Gluz is pretty good and spits these lyrics out quite aggressively herself.
Young and cute Alissa was hand-picked (so I am told), whisked unceremoniously away from her old gig The Agonist by Angela to take over after her departure from active duty. Angela still appears to remain the manager of the band, though. And hey, if you want Angela, just switch back to albums like Khaos Legion, which is a pretty cool piece of work by itself.
The new front combined with the kind of oldie, but goldie stellar riffs and solos on this album, renders a pretty good mix of good, old Melodic Death Metal. And their success gives Swedish band Arch Enemy credit, promoting their last album War Eternal.
I must say, however, listening to the riffs, solos and interludes, this bands sometimes sounds like one of those Heavy Metal groups that were En Vogue in the ’80s and early ’90s. Sometimes a bit too much of this. A bit of a rougher style would have been better for my taste. And good that we have Alissa. Because she throws them death grunts into the fray like an angry bobcat. So that we never forget what style this really is.
But then again, all of a sudden they take off with these brutal riffs and solos of the other kind and at breakneck speed. And those just take your breath away. So War Eternal sports a very alluring mix of styles, but still stay true to the their roots.
Getting everybody in the mood with Tempore Nihil Sanat (time heals nothing – a friggin’ intro by Loki), War Eternal really gets going with Never Forgive, Never Forget and War Eternal. As the Pages Burn is by the way as pure Melodic Death Metal as it is going to get in this august assembly of special concoctions. Brutally direct and unsentimental, as it should be.
Then spitting it out with these absolutely superbly aggressive tracks like No more Regrets and You will know my Name. Whereas the latter is a little lame on melody, but just about.
The rest of the tracks is also very good, with Avalanche the outstanding performance of the last third of songs published. This with exception to the very last track, that most possibly is a very bad filler. What devil rode them to decide to put this failure into their album is frankly beyond me.
To wrap this up, War Eternal contains some great, steely metal with loads of sharp edges. Just the way we like it. Lyrics delivered – as said above – with aggressive stamina, underlined with good Melodic Death Metal. What else could you want for a quiet evening between friends. Right?
And this stuff does my soul good listening to it. You heard that right: Melodic Death Metal from Arch Enemy is good to heal your tortured soul. YES! You softies!
[Editorial note: The review made it successfully onto the first ever Intermittent Best Of of the RockmusicRaider blog. Congrats!]