Rating:
6.9
Arch Enemy - War Eternal
9 June 2014


Disc I
01. Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude In F Minor)
02. Never Forgive, Never Forget
03. War Eternal
04. As The Pages Burn
05. No More Regrets
06. You Will Know My Name
07. Graveyard Of Dreams
08. Stolen Life
09. Time Is Black
10. On And On
11. Avalanche
12. Down To Nothing
13. Not Long For This World
14. Shadow On The Wall [Mike Oldfield cover] [bonus]
15. Breaking The Law [Judas Priest cover] [Japanese bonus]

Disc II [Seeds Of War - The Demos]
01. Never Forgive, Never Forget [demo]
02. No More Regrets [demo]
03. You Will Know My Name [demo]
04. On And On [demo]
05. As The Pages Turn [demo]

Disc III [Instrumental]
01. Never Forgive, Never Forget [instrumental version]
02. War Eternal [instrumental version]
03. As The Pages Burn [instrumental version]
04. No More Regrets [instrumental version]
05. You Will Know My Name [instrumental version]
06. Stolen Life [instrumental version]
07. Time Is Black [instrumental version]
08. On And On [instrumental version]
09. Avalanche [instrumental version]
10. Down To Nothing [instrumental version]


Ah… Arch Enemy - the love-it or hate-it band since having a female vocalist who growls. Regardless, most casual listeners of the band would agree that Khaos Legions was one of those forgettable releases that they won't mind putting behind.

Now that Angela Gossow has retreated to the side lines, the band has a chance to start afresh with Alissa White-Gluz. Personally, I usually had no problem with the vocals of Angela, and Alissa sounds like the perfect replacement. Instead, what matters is that the overall aggression and energy is back, so either the band has listened to its critics or Alissa has reinvigorated the sound of the band. The melodies and riffs sound less stale, the cascading solos are quite impressive and the music in general is definitely more head-bangable.

Here's the problem though. Khaos Legions was such a low point for the band that it's not hard to top it, so it's only natural for War Eternal to be relatively superior in almost every category. Furthermore, one should take into account that expectations had been lowered so much, so meeting or even exceeding them is not such a difficult task. Despite the album on the whole is inoffensive and even pretty good at some points, it's not something I would recommend to those who want to get into Arch Enemy, or just those wanting some great Gothenburg / melodic death / extreme power metal.

The light at the end of the tunnel is that it really does seem that the band has gotten out of that tunnel that they've dug themselves into, and it's nice to see them foray into some previously unexplored territory with some symphonic sprinkles here and there. Is it time for Arch Enemy to change their sound? I'd imagine the fan-base would be rather divided if the band continues to expand into that direction. Ultimately, I'm fine with either option, and it's just a matter of how well they are executed that matters. In the case of War Eternal, the song-writing still leaves the listener wanting more, specifically in terms of being memorable. As mentioned earlier, the band feels energised again, but in most cases, raw energy and conviction is not enough. While one can compose brutal songs and come up with the most blistering riffs, the defining factor here is not being able to be vicious with a lasting impression.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Band profile: Arch Enemy
Album: War Eternal


 



Written on 17.06.2014 by
Ag Fox
Ag Fox loves listening to music but is far from being a prolific writer. This corner just shows how territorial he is.
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Fallen Ghost - 17.06.2014 at 19:06  
Tried to listen to this, stopped listening halfway through, for me it sounded boring and very generic
bodi10 - 17.06.2014 at 19:53  
Not a bad album, but I'd personally give it a 0 in originality. I've heard this a thousand times before. Got bored after first listen.
allgutsnoglory - 17.06.2014 at 22:59  
Michael Amott needs to be in side projects of different genres of metal. His writing has been really dull, repetative and boring as hell. It sucks cus' he's a great guitarist.
Troy Killjoy - 17.06.2014 at 23:08  
Couldn't even stomach the title track but got a laugh out of Alissa's attempts to look hardcore with her generic boy band hand gestures in the video.

Dark Forever - 17.06.2014 at 23:15  
I agree with most of the review but I'd still rate it higher. The more I listen to the album, the more I like it, I only find 3 songs without any memorable part, easily forgotten among the rest.

People are always talking about the lack of originality, but what's wrong with repeating the formula if it works? I mean, I sure prefer original albums, but a classic sound from time to time doesn't hurt, and Arch Enemy executed it very well here.

(P.S. - I don't get it, two people commenting exactly the same in the review and the album post by slightly different words, saying they don't like the album - why bother so much to say the same thing twice if you don't like it anyway?)
Dark Forever - 17.06.2014 at 23:16  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.06.2014 at 23:08

Couldn't even stomach the title track but got a laugh out of Alissa's attempts to look hardcore with her generic boy band hand gestures in the video.


Tell me again how often do you watch boys bands' videos to know what their generic gestures are like
Troy Killjoy - 17.06.2014 at 23:20  
Written by Dark Forever on 17.06.2014 at 23:16
Tell me again how often do you watch boys bands' videos to know what their generic gestures are like

More often than I watch metal music videos - at least 'N Sync ventured into action movie territory to keep your interest.
Lit. - 17.06.2014 at 23:27  
I still think Backstreet Boys are better.
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.06.2014 at 23:29  
Written by Lit. on 17.06.2014 at 23:27

I still think Backstreet Boys are better.

Yeah "backstreet" boys...
mz - 17.06.2014 at 23:48  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.06.2014 at 23:20

More often than I watch metal music videos - at least 'N Sync ventured into action movie territory to keep your interest.
video


For the record, I was a huge fan of this video some 12 years or so ago good memories.
Troy Killjoy - 17.06.2014 at 23:52  
Where are all the Arch Enemy fans trying to steer this back on topic? The fact that we're all talking about pop bands from the '90s instead of this album goes to show how excited we all are about its release I guess...
theFIST - 18.06.2014 at 01:01  
Written by bodi10 on 17.06.2014 at 19:53

Not a bad album, but I'd personally give it a 0 in originality. I've heard this a thousand times before. Got bored after first listen.

Well i think they noticed the crap Khaos Legions was, forgot it, and made this a Gossow lite album just with Alissa on vocals
Not surprising since i think Wages of Sin was basically a Liiva era album just with Angela on vocals, in clear contrast to the sound of the following albums
!J.O.O.E.! - 18.06.2014 at 01:31  
Written by theFIST on 18.06.2014 at 01:01

Not surprising since i think Wages of Sin was basically a Liiva era album just with Angela on vocals, in clear contrast to the sound of the following albums

Didn't sound like that to me. Wages of Sin sounded more like Anthems than it did Burning Bridges. Burning Bridges had that dirty, chugging sound with lots of groove and heavier sounding guitars, whereas Wages was tighter, thrashier and had a darker tone about it, and very different sounding guitars, most of which were carried over to Anthems.
Orangutoad - 18.06.2014 at 02:09  
I'm a big Arch Enemy fan, and I'd only give this between 7.2 and 7.5. It is decent, and the more I listen to it the more I like it, but it's nowhere near as good as Wages of Sin or Doomsday Machine. Alissa is ok, but I think Angela was 10x better, and I miss her. The band is capable of so much more than this.
deadone - 18.06.2014 at 02:30  
Well written review.

I agree with its conclusion and rating too.

This is alright but it's still the same AE that's been churned out since Anthems of Rebellion.

It still lacks the "oomph" of the Liiva era or Wage of Sin (which theFIST rightly points out as being a Liiva era album with Angela on vox).
LascaillesShroud - 18.06.2014 at 04:44  
Written by allgutsnoglory on 17.06.2014 at 22:59

Michael Amott needs to be in side projects of different genres of metal. His writing has been really dull, repetative and boring as hell. It sucks cus' he's a great guitarist.


He's been in Spiritual Beggars for the past 20 years.

Angelic Storm - 18.06.2014 at 07:17  
This is a mostly average album, with vocals even worse than Angela's deteriorating performance on later AE albums. They're thin, weak, and flat, with no venom whatsoever. Musically, a small amount of the album is good, but the same could be said about "Khaos Legions", which was another mostly poor album. The best songs on KL are better than most of the songs on here, and again, this album is a fair way off from their best works quality wise.

And I agree with Troy. Alissa's posing in that video is embarrassing!
s_t_s - 18.06.2014 at 12:43  
I tried to get into Arch Enemy a couple of times but really, I cannot get into femal growls The title track doesn't sound so bad but the voice doesn't help support the music imho.
Sword_Chant - 18.06.2014 at 15:01  
Looks like I disagree with just about every post above me Yes it's in the same AE formula and has its generic moments but you could say that about most of their discography. They went for the 'same formula' route, I think someone above said this already but sometimes that works better than a band trying to completely reshape their sound. This album does venture into new territory anyway, especially through the use of symphonic elements, though not in a massive manner :- something I always loved about AE is Ammott's guitar solos when they are more prominent in songs, they definitely worked on this more in War Eternal. There is a sense of nostalgia from this album; hell, some parts of the album remind me of the songs they did in the Liiva Era.

I don't mind Alissa's vocals and I thought it was more innovative than Khaos Legions and musically it's probably their best material since Doomsday Machine.
Giza - 18.06.2014 at 23:01  
I think that most of these old melodic death metal bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, and etc have long burned out their creativity and are only living off their big name and former glory. It's time to move on and give praise to new bands that bring something fresh to the genre. As the saying goes: you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
tea[m]ster - 19.06.2014 at 00:13  
Their sound has become very predictable...and boring. I will stick with Anthems Of Rebellion when I need an Arch Enemy fill. Nice review and thanks.
deadone - 19.06.2014 at 04:52  
Written by Giza on 18.06.2014 at 23:01

I think that most of these old melodic death metal bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, and etc have long burned out their creativity and are only living off their big name and former glory. It's time to move on and give praise to new bands that bring something fresh to the genre. As the saying goes: you can't teach an old dog new tricks.



Pretty much. Only problem with new bands is that new Melodic DM bands don't bring anything fresh to the genre.

Right now Melodic DM seems completely stuck in a rutt.
The Shape 1973 - 19.06.2014 at 21:12  
Thoroughly enjoyed this album, although I have listened to it as an extreme power metal album rather than death metal. Its not particularly heavy or aggressive and benefits from this melodically. Being a power metal fan that is what I enjoy.

I have never been a fan of harsh vocals, but these fit well, better than Angela in this newer more melodic sound. It has rekindled my interest in the band and has been on repeat in my car for a week. If the follow up continues in this vein I will be happy. Solos were spot on and the introduction of symphonic elements were an unexpected and welcome addition.

It depends on what you want from an album I suppose. If you want aggressive vocals, little melody and maintaining the same law of diminishing returns then fine. If you want a fresher sound, reinvigorated vocals, great solos, a melodic edge and venturing in to symphonic elements, I would recommend this.
The Shape 1973 - 19.06.2014 at 21:19  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.06.2014 at 23:08

Couldn't even stomach the title track but got a laugh out of Alissa's attempts to look hardcore with her generic boy band hand gestures in the video.

At least it isn't as cringe worthy as this. She scares the shit out of me.
Troy Killjoy - 19.06.2014 at 21:25  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 19.06.2014 at 21:19
She scares the shit out of me.

I seriously burst out laughing at the 8 second mark. Tearing up a little over here... my god that was hilarious. Thanks for that.
theFIST - 20.06.2014 at 14:55  
Written by deadone on 19.06.2014 at 04:52

Pretty much. Only problem with new bands is that new Melodic DM bands don't bring anything fresh to the genre.

Right now Melodic DM seems completely stuck in a rutt.

well there is Allegaeon, but they are rather melodic "death"

then there also was Infernal Poetry that after a quite conventional start on their last 2 albums could be described as kind of melodic death without sounding like any melodic death band
they unfortunately split up though
Ag Fox - 20.06.2014 at 17:12  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 19.06.2014 at 21:12

Thoroughly enjoyed this album, although I have listened to it as an extreme power metal album rather than death metal. Its not particularly heavy or aggressive and benefits from this melodically. Being a power metal fan that is what I enjoy.

I have never been a fan of harsh vocals, but these fit well, better than Angela in this newer more melodic sound. It has rekindled my interest in the band and has been on repeat in my car for a week. If the follow up continues in this vein I will be happy. Solos were spot on and the introduction of symphonic elements were an unexpected and welcome addition.

It depends on what you want from an album I suppose. If you want aggressive vocals, little melody and maintaining the same law of diminishing returns then fine. If you want a fresher sound, reinvigorated vocals, great solos, a melodic edge and venturing in to symphonic elements, I would recommend this.
I'm neutral about the vocals (so I am not wow-ed by it, nor am I put off by it), thought the solos were good, but the melodic edge was too sugary. While the sound is indeed fresher, the last album was so... mouldy that most things sound fresher lol. My main gripe is that whether it's the aggressive parts or the melodic parts, they should be written in a more memorable way, which isn't the case in here to my ears.
Uldreth - 21.06.2014 at 13:26  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 19.06.2014 at 21:19

Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.06.2014 at 23:08

Couldn't even stomach the title track but got a laugh out of Alissa's attempts to look hardcore with her generic boy band hand gestures in the video.

At least it isn't as cringe worthy as this. She scares the shit out of me.
[video]

What the fuck did I just watch?
EnigmaLake - 21.06.2014 at 23:10  
Written by Giza on 18.06.2014 at 23:01

I think that most of these old melodic death metal bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, and etc have long burned out their creativity and are only living off their big name and former glory. It's time to move on and give praise to new bands that bring something fresh to the genre. As the saying goes: you can't teach an old dog new tricks.


Such as...?
Valankir - 22.06.2014 at 19:55  
Written by EnigmaLake on 21.06.2014 at 23:10

Written by Giza on 18.06.2014 at 23:01

I think that most of these old melodic death metal bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, and etc have long burned out their creativity and are only living off their big name and former glory. It's time to move on and give praise to new bands that bring something fresh to the genre. As the saying goes: you can't teach an old dog new tricks.


Such as...?


Be'lakor, Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, and Allegaeon come to mind easily. Amorphis is also still putting out good material. There's also bands like Witherscape that may not be exactly melodic death metal, but will appeal to much of the same crowd.
Troy Killjoy - 22.06.2014 at 20:06  
Written by Valankir on 22.06.2014 at 19:55
Be'lakor, Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum

You're calling these bands fresh? They're all about as stagnant as Arch Enemy - they just happen to be more atmospheric and less thrash-influenced.
Karlabos - 22.06.2014 at 20:09  
^Agree.
Honestly I wouldn't know what to say if someone asked me for a fresh mdm band. I must go with deadone on this. The genre is far too stagnated
Valankir - 23.06.2014 at 01:10  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.06.2014 at 20:06

Written by Valankir on 22.06.2014 at 19:55
Be'lakor, Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum

You're calling these bands fresh? They're all about as stagnant as Arch Enemy - they just happen to be more atmospheric and less thrash-influenced.


Fair enough - I shouldn't say these are bands are bringing anything brand new to the genre, particularly Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum. I'm interested to see where Be'lakor goes when they put out another album. The last two CD's were very good, but very similar - almost felt like part1 and part 2.

What I was aiming at was that the bands execute very well and have yet to disappoint me like the original big names. Overall I think some of the issue is that this is a mature genre that shares a lot of overlap with several other genre's so some of the 'growth' is likely attributed to progressive, technical, atmoshpheric etc depending on how picky people get with genre tagging.
BlueMobius - 23.06.2014 at 05:32  
I'm enjoying this album. I like my underground and groundbreaking metal just as much as anyone, but every now and then I want to sprawl out on the couch in my boxers and stained undershirt, and ingest some Easy Cheese with crackers. I like some generic, quick payoff metal and I'm not ashamed.
Opethian - 24.06.2014 at 20:41  
Cover art looks very similar to Bloodbath's 'Unblessing the Purity' EP ... just saying
TX09 - 26.06.2014 at 22:12  
I fucking Love this album.. Yeah their are certain bands i dont like and alot of cds only have a few good songs, but way to much complaining going on.. Just Smoke A Bowl and Air Guitar
Doc Godin - 18.07.2014 at 22:29  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.06.2014 at 23:52

Where are all the Arch Enemy fans trying to steer this back on topic? The fact that we're all talking about pop bands from the '90s instead of this album goes to show how excited we all are about its release I guess...

Just got it. I guess I'll be in the minority of people defending it? For me this holds the same appeal as Rise Of The Tyrant had (another album I understand a lot of people disliked). Big anthem sound with great melodies everywhere. I've only been listening to them since Doomsday Machine, and have only really liked them since Rise, so I suppose a lot of folks who have been listening for longer probably expect something different.

After the tired sounding Khaos Legions, this sounds like a rejuvenated band, probably the new members injecting a bit of fresh energy...let's see how long it lasts.
Un-Born Again - 20.07.2014 at 00:36  
Written by Doc Godin on 18.07.2014 at 22:29

Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.06.2014 at 23:52

Where are all the Arch Enemy fans trying to steer this back on topic? The fact that we're all talking about pop bands from the '90s instead of this album goes to show how excited we all are about its release I guess...

Just got it. I guess I'll be in the minority of people defending it? For me this holds the same appeal as Rise Of The Tyrant had (another album I understand a lot of people disliked). Big anthem sound with great melodies everywhere. I've only been listening to them since Doomsday Machine, and have only really liked them since Rise, so I suppose a lot of folks who have been listening for longer probably expect something different.

After the tired sounding Khaos Legions, this sounds like a rejuvenated band, probably the new members injecting a bit of fresh energy...let's see how long it lasts.


I just bought it and I definitely like it.
I've only heard a few songs by them with the the Angela chick and I like Alissa more.
screenshot - 03.08.2014 at 06:28  
Wtf... its the best thing i've listened in the past 5-10 years... couple of songs do have pointless bashing in them, but cmon, the symphony is excellent! ("down to nothing" even has an identical boring/pointless riffs from their old song called "savage messiah"...)
Anyway.. the singer and their newer style is more interesting than everything they've ever done... (i dont watch the flashy videos)

anyone has suggestions what else to listen instead of this then?
metalization - 17.08.2014 at 15:31  
To me,Alissa and the general structure of the band have fit perfectly.I can't understand some negative comments.I think this album is one of the best works in band's history.Monsterous riffs and melodies were able to combined greatly.So keep on listenin' and making listening it to everyone
AngelofDeth - 28.08.2014 at 22:47  
Written by metalization on 17.08.2014 at 15:31

To me,Alissa and the general generic structure of the band have fit perfectly.

Literally how I read your comment.. lol

Think the review is spot on: better than Khaos, worse than their previous albums.

Only thing I don't agree with is I don't like Alissa's grows, she has that 'core' thing going on which is an absolute pet peeve of mine, or should I say... 'MWINE'! ..aha..

Written by screenshot on 03.08.2014 at 06:28

Wtf... its the best thing i've listened in the past 5-10 years... couple of songs do have pointless bashing in them, but cmon, the symphony is excellent! ("down to nothing" even has an identical boring/pointless riffs from their old song called "savage messiah"...)
Anyway.. the singer and their newer style is more interesting than everything they've ever done... (i dont watch the flashy videos)
anyone has suggestions what else to listen instead of this then?

Maybe Wages of Sin, Anthems of Rebellion, Dead Eyes See No Future, Rise of the Tyrant for starters...lol There's at least a couple dozen more albums I could list in the same genre..

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