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Arch Enemy | Wages of Sin | review | metal | Lollipop

Arch Enemy

Wages of Sin (Century Media)
by Tim Den

Watch out metal world, it's time to get your asses handed to you again. Yup, Arch Enemy are back with a long-overdue full-length and are better than ever. How could they be any better, you ask? How 'bout having a ridiculously crisp, articulate, hungry new vocalist who just happens to be a gorgeous blonde? New vocalist Angela Gossow is not only the successor to Chuck Schuldiner and Jeff Walker's Growl Throne, she is also a fox. Bless you, my Swedish melodic death metal beauty queen. Bless you and your throat (ahem) and the Carcass-sweet band behind (ahem) you.

As Gossow tears through tales of suicide, religious ignorance, and existential soul-searching like a rabid bulldog, the Amott brothers & co. never fall behind. As expected with this critically-acclaimed unit, all riffs are tasty, all beats are meaty, and all melodies are worthy of (classic) Steve Harris (as if Michael Amott's work with Carcass didn't already prove that). Standouts: Post-chorus of "Dead Bury Their Dead" is a gigantic moshfest, the choir in "Behind the Smile" turns the song from a wimpy frolic into a descent into madness, and "Burning Angel" renders the last three In Flames records useless. Still the reigning champs of the Gothenburg sound, Arch Enemy have proven yet again that they only get better with time. Wages of Sin - thanks to Gossow's presence and the ever-increasing songwriting quality - will undoubtedly be one of the year's landmarks. Let's hope Century Media doesn't delay their next album like they did this one!
(2323 W. El Segundo Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250)


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