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Arch Enemy - Deceivers review



Reviewer:
7.0

232 users:
7.62
Band: Arch Enemy
Album: Deceivers
Release date: August 2022


01. Handshake With Hell
02. Deceiver, Deceiver
03. In The Eye Of The Storm
04. The Watcher
05. Poisoned Arrow
06. Sunset Over The Empire
07. House Of Mirrors
08. Spreading Black Wings
09. Mourning Star
10. One Last Time
11. Exiled From Earth


“Hello? Yes, I would like to report a crime. I have been abducted. Woke up in Gothenburg sometimes in the early 2000s, and I’ve no idea how to get back. You’ll send someone? How? Police cars are equipped with temporal displacers now?”

With roughly 600 000 inhabitants, Gothenburg (Göteborg) is Sweden’s second-largest city, and the capital of Gothia (Götaland), the southernmost of the three lands of Sweden, where I also happen to live. I’ve rarely been to Gothenburg, as it is a three-hour car trip and train connections east-to-west are lacking at best. I’ve driven a car there once, and let me tell you, trams are the worst thing ever. However, everybody probably knows the story about Gothenburg metal at this point, and should you not, just listen to Arch Enemy for a while, and you’ll understand exactly what the style is all about.

So, Arch Enemy abducted me to Gothenburg, circa year 2004, to play me their heavily Gothenburg-influenced brand of thrashy melodeath. At first, I was not won over (and later on, perhaps I was only suffering from Stockholm… I mean, Gothenburg syndrome). “Handshake With Hell” is a pretty boring tune, that is, until the final section where a surprising, atmospheric part breaks off the endless shredding and screaming with Alissa White-Gluz singing a folky melody in a sort of ominous-yet-sweet clean voice: “Fool me once, and I’m done / Twice, and I’m dumb / Thrice, and I’ll not be fooled again.” Yeah, the lyrics are beyond stupid throughout the album, but the delivery here made me forgive their abduction and stay along for the gig.

Next, Arch Enemy go all-out thrash-hardcore on “Deceiver, Deceiver”, with a seriously headbangable main riff that doesn’t go into melodeath territory except for the chorus, yet only slightly even then. Credit where credit is due, Alissa has a splendid voice, both her harsh and clean singing being filled with a sort of playful ferocity, and Jeff Loomis’ lead guitars and shredding solos are exactly what I’ll be writing home about (assuming I’ll ever get back to my own time - the 00s weren’t exactly a happy time for me, and I’d like to return now, please?). This was not to be. “In The Eye Of The Storm” is the most 00s metal sounding track on Deceivers. It sounds like Clayman-era In Flames, no more, no less. I’m sure there are people back home in year 2022 who enjoy this crap still, but it bores me to tears.

The best parts of Deceiver are the less anthemic tracks, such as “The Watcher” with its memorable, catchy lead guitar supporting the chorus before the song devolves time and again into a fast-paced, brutal deathcore assault. It is here I realise how excellent the performance quality is all around. Every guitar solo shreds like there were no tomorrow, every vocal line is delivered with panache, the drums support everyone else in a high-octane fuelled, accentuating way, and in “Sunset Of The Empire” Sharlee D’Angelo gets to show his serious bass work chops. “Sunset Of The Empire” is, by far, the best song on here. It is thrashy, violent, melodic, anthemic, and slightly orchestral, all rolled into one. Beats me why they didn’t choose it as a first single.

After being bound and gagged in a 2000s Gothenburg cellar watching Arch Enemy play me their new Deceivers album for the better part of an hour, I start getting restless. Sure, “Morning Star” is a short interlude, and there are really only 10 tracks in their set list, but it somehow feels like many more - a few too many. I prefer my albums short and sweet, and if they are not, then there needs to be more variety than this to keep my interest. There’s a filler track or two here, especially towards the end. But don’t tell them I said that, not until I get a hold of Temporal Investigations and can return to my decade. This is some proper high school music, and I’m an adult (or so I keep telling everyone).

Deceivers is good. It’s even better than I expected it to be. It’s good, but not great, but it is damn entertaining, and I forgive Arch Enemy’s abduction tactics, because I had a great time listening to it… but I will probably never hear it again.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 9





Written on 13.08.2022 by 100% objective opinions.


Comments

Comments: 14   Visited by: 405 users
13.08.2022 - 11:26
24emd

Good review! Very entertaining while addressing the album fairly and accurately imo
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"It washed away in a tide of longing, a longing for a better world..."
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13.08.2022 - 13:35
Rating: 8
Nejde
Philosoraptor
But Netzach, Arch Enemy are from Halmstad some 140 km south of Gothenburg (Göteborg)
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"You have the right to believe in what you want. I have the right to believe it's ridiculous." - Ricky Gervais
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13.08.2022 - 15:30
Rating: 7
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Nejde on 13.08.2022 at 13:35

But Netzach, Arch Enemy are from Halmstad some 140 km south of Gothenburg (Göteborg)

I've never heard of Halmstad death metal... I've heard of Halmstad DSBM
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"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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13.08.2022 - 19:26
Enissa

I don't know about the abduction - haven't listened to the album yet obviously (I'm sure the same will happen to me). But I will check it out later this evening as it will be something fresh after a long-ass marathon of listening to Deathspell Omega albums...
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13.08.2022 - 19:42
Rating: 7
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Enissa on 13.08.2022 at 19:26

I don't know about the abduction - haven't listened to the album yet obviously (I'm sure the same will happen to me). But I will check it out later this evening as it will be something fresh after a long-ass marathon of listening to Deathspell Omega albums...

Haha... I mostly just meant that listening to this album really feels like getting sent back to the early 21st century when Gbg metal was all the rage I thought Deathspell Omega's latest album was very fresh, but you've probably checked it out already too! Paracletus is one of my favourite black metal albums of all time, I salute your listening choice.
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"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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13.08.2022 - 20:47
Enissa

Written by Netzach on 13.08.2022 at 19:42

Written by Enissa on 13.08.2022 at 19:26

I don't know about the abduction - haven't listened to the album yet obviously (I'm sure the same will happen to me). But I will check it out later this evening as it will be something fresh after a long-ass marathon of listening to Deathspell Omega albums...

Haha... I mostly just meant that listening to this album really feels like getting sent back to the early 21st century when Gbg metal was all the rage I thought Deathspell Omega's latest album was very fresh, but you've probably checked it out already too! Paracletus is one of my favourite black metal albums of all time, I salute your listening choice.

Agree on the Gbg metal thing I don't wanna turn this into a Deathspell Omega thread/discussion - I'm just gonna say this as it was my first time getting into them: I really wanted to like "Paracletus", as I really want to get it on vinyl, but unfortunately it didn't happen. I'm gonna give myself some time and listen to it again However, I enjoyed "Fas" and the latest album.
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13.08.2022 - 20:58
metalwolf

Well, tomorrow, I'll know firsthand how the songs sound live (no temporal displacement involved).
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Cthulhu for President! Why settle for the lesser evil?
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13.08.2022 - 21:40
Rating: 7
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Enissa on 13.08.2022 at 20:47

Agree on the Gbg metal thing I don't wanna turn this into a Deathspell Omega thread/discussion - I'm just gonna say this as it was my first time getting into them: I really wanted to like "Paracletus", as I really want to get it on vinyl, but unfortunately it didn't happen. I'm gonna give myself some time and listen to it again However, I enjoyed "Fas" and the latest album.

I reviewed their latest album earlier this year, but I think it's grown on me a bit since. SMRC and FAS are stellar too, of course.

Written by metalwolf on 13.08.2022 at 20:58

Well, tomorrow, I'll know firsthand how the songs sound live (no temporal displacement involved).

I can imagine they go down pretty well live. This sort of music really is made for a live setting.
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"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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14.08.2022 - 19:54
Enissa

So I finally listened to it today; no abduction happened (I was like no bitch, the early 00s were a dark time for me), but I enjoyed it. I gotta agree that the band's performance is excellent. Plus, having Alissa's clean vocals every now and then is nice, she is a fantastic vocalist. However, there are fillers here and there (for example One Last Time which is meh) but that's okay, all in all a solid album, and a lot better than the dumpster fire that was Will To Power.
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15.08.2022 - 12:23
Rating: 7
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Enissa on 14.08.2022 at 19:54

So I finally listened to it today; no abduction happened (I was like no bitch, the early 00s were a dark time for me), but I enjoyed it. I gotta agree that the band's performance is excellent. Plus, having Alissa's clean vocals every now and then is nice, she is a fantastic vocalist. However, there are fillers here and there (for example One Last Time which is meh) but that's okay, all in all a solid album, and a lot better than the dumpster fire that was Will To Power.

I should've said exactly that too, the early 00s weren't the best of times. Maybe even the worst of times, but there's some competition there later in life too sadly. But I signed up to review this, so I let them have their way

I assume the "anti-Alissa" faction must be the same sort of phenomenon as the "anti-Annette" (no-Tarja faction), who simply don't like change (but they kept forgetting that Tarja changed her style already on Century Child, which is an album very dear to me). Alissa has a cool style and I'd have wanted more of the cleans, could've remedied the "filler" problem a bit. Maybe I should resume the "recommended tracks" part of my reviews I used to do long ago, but I stopped since the album, not the songs, should be in focus.

That said, I have a confession to make: this was the first Arch Enemy album I've heard from start to finish. Same with Amon Amarth. I guess that makes me an atypical Swede (but I'm Finnish when it suits me).

Oh, and this was my 50th review, I expect cake.
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"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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15.08.2022 - 12:27
Gladius

I don't really know what to say. This album gets me some mixed feelings. Same old songs, same old videos... still is quite enjoyable in comparation with previous works. Some parts are quite good.
Melodic voices is good news, I really don't understand why Alissa's abilities are so wasted. But what about Jeff Loomis? I find it hard to hear his guitar.
Some riffs sound like hard rock seasoned with good drums work. Lyrics are foreseeable...
I really like this band form its beginning, but I'm getting a little tired of expecting for them to show what they are capable of. They already changed with the addition of new members, of cours, but they still try to do as they don't.
Nice review, by the way.
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15.08.2022 - 12:29
Rating: 7
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by metalwolf on 13.08.2022 at 20:58

Well, tomorrow, I'll know firsthand how the songs sound live (no temporal displacement involved).

So, how was it?
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"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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16.08.2022 - 00:15
metalwolf

Written by Netzach on 15.08.2022 at 12:29

Written by metalwolf on 13.08.2022 at 20:58

Well, tomorrow, I'll know firsthand how the songs sound live (no temporal displacement involved).

So, how was it?

In short: very nice set! As scorching as the heat earlier that day. The new songs sound great and the old ones, well... it's Arch Enemy we're talking about.
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Cthulhu for President! Why settle for the lesser evil?
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16.08.2022 - 10:35
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
West Coast Angels and Wiseman lives there, a town maybe 25h car drive even more if you ignore E4 whitch I hate. I was there in 2004, I hate it, enormous large city, windy and humid. Then again like Galaxen in Umeå, Varvet in Göteborg was cool arenas when genre was young, and we north had 3 even better melo dm band what are classics and still out there. I dont like Alissa, so she makes band low in my rankings
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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