Spectacle : 20:30
Arch Enemy are incapable of making bad records, a point they hammer home with album number 11, the mighty ‘Deceivers’. Delivering a maelstrom of diamond-hard riffing wrapped around cinematic melodies, thunderous drumming and towering vocals, they are unstoppable and sound incredibly energized. Their third full-length with vocalist Alissa White-Gluz and second with guitarist Jeff Loomis, the Swedish extreme metal quintet are operating at the highest level, and ‘Deceivers’ easily stands toe-to-toe with the highlights of their storied catalogue. Roaring to life with ‘Handshake With Hell’ they make it clear they are out for blood, and every track is a highlight, from the moody ‘Poisoned Arrow’ to the titanically anthemic ‘One Last Time’. Launched in 1995 by guitarist/songwriter Michael Amott (ex-Carcass) and vocalist Johan Liiva, 1996 debut album ‘Black Earth’ bolstered the flagging death metal genre and showed that it still had mainstream potential. 1998’s scathing ‘Stigmata’ and 1999’s more refined ‘Burning Bridges’ followed, and in 2000 Liiva stepped down, with Angela Gossow taking his place. 2001 marked her recording debut, ‘Wages Of Sin’, which was the sound of a band revitalized, and they broke wider with 2003’s ‘Anthems Of Rebellion’, largely thanks to single ‘We Will Rise’. 2005’s ‘Doomsday Machine’ was easily their most successful effort of their career up to that time, without sacrificing their integrity, following this up with the thrashier ‘Rise Of The Tyrant’ (2007) and Gossow’s swan song, 2011’s ‘Khaos Legions’. With Gossow now the band’s manager, White-Gluz made her recording debut with 2014’s ‘War Eternal’, which sounded fresh and hungry, and they followed this up with 2017’s towering ‘Will To Power’, which alongside the blazing melo-death attack features the band’s first clean-sung power-ballad, ‘Reason To Believe’, adding a new dimension to their sound. Now they move forward with ‘Deceivers’, continually proving they are masters of their craft.