Arch Enemy - Rise of the Tyrant

Arch Enemy’s sixth full-length “Doomsday Machine”, which cracked the Billboard Top 200 at #87, was the album that catapulted the Swedish metallers to stardom. What was once one of the underground’s best kept secrets are now unleashing their venomous Death-Metal to Ozzfest masses and adorning the covers of big-selling magazines like Kerrang and Revolver. The band’s status has risen immeasurably from that point on and although some detractors might claim that Arch Enemy have lost the essential characteristics that made their earlier works like “Stigmata” and “Burning Bridges” so crushing in order to achieve such level of success let me reassure you that new album “Rise of the Tyrant” proves exactly the contrary. The follow-up to “Doomsday Machine” is the heaviest work the Swedes made since female growler Angela Gossow replaced original vocalist Johan Liiva back in 2001 and the moment the initial notes of opener “Blood on your Hands” emanates from the speakers (right after the siren sounds warning us to run for shelter!) all previous fears, speculations and scepticisms are instantly dismissed. Spearheading the metallic fury with its fast-paced and precise drumming and punching thrashy guitars, “Blood on your Hands” sets the tone for “Rise of the Tyrant”, a blazingly fierce yet extremely gripping dose of melodic Death Metal filled with all of the impeccable trademarks Arch Enemy are renowned for.
There’s the thundering drumming of Daniel Erlandsson, the pounding bass lines courtesy of Sharlee D’Angelo, the stunning guitar-work of the Amott brothers and the ferocious growl of Ms Gossow, now freed from all those weird effects that gave previous releases a synthetic and overly processed feeling, especially on “Doomsday Machine”. Her voice sounds much more organic and natural now, but still retains that harsh intensity and Schuldiner-alike tone.
Other standout tracks include the aggressive “The Last Enemy”, the elegant “I Will Live Again” and the Judas Priest-influenced title theme, where I was left wondering if Rob Halford was going to step in and grab the microphone.
Showcasing a stronger emphasis on melody when compared to its inconsistent predecessor, “Rise of the Tyrant” pushes all the right buttons and scores on every front, there’s plenty of shredding riffs, catchy hooks and alluring melodies that will be stuck in your grey matter for weeks. (8/10)

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