The first track off Swedish metal act Arch Enemy’s latest effort begins with a low-key instrumental that is barely audible from the beginning. Despite this rather muted intro, the tone of this album rapidly changes as the band soon reveals its true nature on the insanely brutal “Beast of Man.”
Arch Enemy is slated to release “The Root of All Evil” on Oct. 6. It’s a collection of re-recorded tracks from Arch Enemy’s first three albums “Black Earth,” “Stigmata” and “Burning Bridges.” Despite being songs Arch Enemy fans have heard before, there is one notable difference on “The Root of All Evil:” The original tracks were sung by former vocalist Johan Liiva. The new tracks have been re-sung by current vocalist Angela Gossow.
Fans might feel a little lost in the middle of the album. Those who were fans of Liiva’s style might not take well to an album’s worth of Gossow’s rendition of some of their most favorite tracks. This is not to say Gossow doesn’t have her own fans. She sings, actually growls, her way through 16 tracks, and her vocals are undeniably vicious.
One thing that always remains consistently good about Arch Enemy is the quality of the music. Its brand of metal is always complex and aggressive. “Demoniability,” a brief instrumental, is a dense layering of the band’s music. The whole song is backed with the demonic growl of Gossow. Even for an instrumental, the track is heavy and shows the complicated music this band can produce, even when not working with vocals.
The band seems to find a perfect blend of old and new on “Dead Inside.” The re-recorded music on this track is flawless, and Gossow’s vocals are strong. Another thing that sets this CD apart are three new live recordings of “Bury Me An Angel,” “The Immortal” and “Bridge Of Destiny.”
Despite the change in vocalists, the songs on this release are some of the ones that have helped label this band as one of the harshest metal acts out there. Listeners might enjoy the new take on this material or might end up wondering why mess with something that was already good.
Rating: W W W