Arch Enemy - Deceivers
Release Date: August 12, 2022
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: Century Media Records
The Swedish/Canadian/American melodic death metal titans Arch Enemy will unleash their eleventh studio album, Deceivers, to the world this coming Friday via Century Media Records. Arch Enemy was formed twenty-seven years ago as a supergroup. Over the years, the band has been faced with numerous lineup changes, and the metal band has maintained that as part of their core identity to this day. Arch Enemy comprises the talents of vocalist Alissa White-Gluz, guitarist Michael Amott, guitarist Jeff Loomis, bassist Sharlee D'Angelo, and drummer Daniel Erlandsson. Deceivers marks the third album to feature Alissa White-Gluz and the second to feature guitarist, Jeff Loomis. Deceivers was co-produced by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe), Michael Amott, and Daniel Erlandsson. Arch Enemy launches Deceivers swiftly with "Handshake With Hell," chock full of finger-tapping guitar solos in its intro, with everything -the bass, drums, rhythm guitars- building behind the lead guitar. Alissa belts the lyrics with her signature growls before introducing the cleanest vocals they have delivered on a track to date. Unfortunately, if you were in hopes for even more music comparable to Alissa's days in The Agonist -dare I even mention it- you're out of luck. "Handshake With Hell" is the only track on Deceivers that features this considerable amount of clean vocals, but there are more cleans later on. Musically, while still the core melodic death metal sound the band has always maintained to stray within, it might be the band's most heavy metal leaning numbers they've ever released. The album's title track, "Deceiver, Deceiver," follows with a completely different sound that is comparable to all of Arch Enemy's previous catalogue. "Deceiver, Deceiver" is unquestionably brutal sonically. The chugging guitar riffs that match in sync with the snare drum are intense alone and pack a mighty punch. The vocals are the most ferocious I've heard in an Arch Enemy song in quite some time. Alissa's deep guttural growls backed with Loomis' gigantic screams add an unmatched intensity to the track. A couple of songs that follow, "In The Eye Of The Storm" and "The Watcher," both feel like classic Arch Enemy songs. Both are insanely melodic tracks, with unpaired signature song structures that are similar to something you'd hear on any previous one of the band's albums. Not that that's a bad thing. The band is twenty-seven years strong, eleven albums deep, and has always harboured a signature sound, and that's heard the most on these two particular tracks.
"Sunset Over The Empire" is an utterly destructive track. At the onset, "Sunset Over The Empire" begins with a bass solo from D'Angelo. As the song builds and builds to deliver a walloping kick to the face of the listener, a wall of power bursts out from within, and Alissa's ferocious vocals pack a hell of a bite. Her powerful vocals, paired with the chugging guitars, heart-stopping drums, emphatic bass lines, amusing clean backing vocals, and blistering guitar solos, leave you in the band's rearview. "Sunset Over The Empire" is set to be a surefire fan favourite and is easily the most noteworthy track on all of Deceivers, making it an absolute standout. "Spreading Black Wings" is also a tremendous contender to be one of the most satisfactory songs on Deceivers. "Spreading Black Wings" is quite slow and methodical from everything else on the record, while it's equally raw and vicious. The track is brimming with thrashy, chugging guitar riffs and the use of both higher-toned and lower guttural growls.
As Deceivers reaches its end, eyebrows will certainly raise at a few of these tracks, but with "One Last Time," Arch Enemy offers up the album's most melodious song on the entire effort. "One Last Time" features one of the more "drawn-out" guitar solos of the album. While it's always pleasant to hear Amott and Loomis burn off their fingertips on their fretboards with their high-spirited solos, the two guitar masterminds deliberately slow things down a notch. In between the fierce chugging guitar riffs and Alissa's talking parts -I consider these more clean vocals- they take themselves down a path of harmonious, slick, and blissful guitar solos. Closing out the album is the track "Exiled From Earth." It gives Deceivers its final squall. "Exiled From Earth" commences with a string intro before the instruments explode into one conclusive, ghoulish reckoning. The perfect send-off for this chapter of Arch Enemy.
With a reinvigorated swagger, Arch Enemy again demonstrates on Deceivers why their long-standing slogan of "pure fucking metal" characterizes them. Arch Enemy once again proves the band is nowhere close to the end and has plenty left in the tank. Deceivers is the concrete proof of this. The band brought some new songwriting ideas and elements to the record and mixed them with the signature Arch Enemy sound. If the band were to dig further into this new creativity, the future is looking extremely bright for the metal titans.
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