Arch Enemy

The Root Of All Evil

Written by: PP on 16/11/2009 17:40:32

Ah yes, another band I've been meaning to explore thoroughly for quite some time but haven't because of the size of their extensive back catalogue. Ever had the feeling of not knowing where to start? That's where "The Root Of All Evil" comes into play, as it features 13 re-recorded songs from the first three Arch Enemy albums "Black Earth", "Stigmata" and "Burning Bridges". Now before you go protesting in the streets yelling "SELL OUT CASH GRAB" etc, check this little detail out that I didn't actually know before some research: on the first three Arch Enemy albums, the band's vocalist wasn't the iconic Angela Gossow whose terrifyingly awesome growl leaves most of her male colleagues behind, but some dude called Johan Liiva. And I thought Angela had been in the band since the beginning, stupid me. Here's where the fun part comes in though for all those Arch Enemy fans who already own these albums: all songs have been re-recorded with her on vocals instead, plus they have been produced by the band, and mixed and mastered by the awesome Andy Sneap.

The end result? Early Gothenburg melodic death metal at its very best, and an improvement on the old albums vocally and soundwise (based on what more knowledgeable people on the band have told me). Think early In Flames but in many ways more awesome because of Gossow's brutal vocals. Think mind blowing melodeath riffs where the lead guitar spits out unforgettable melodies and slick solos whilst the rhythm section takes care of the serpentine death metal layer underneath, and the drummer smashes out blast beats and pounding rhythms simultaneously. Songs like "The Immortal", "Demonic Science", "Bury Me An Angel", and "Silverwing" simply offer a perfect blend of death metal brutality and astonishing melody spat out by the galloping guitars. The last one in particular gives me back chills every time I hear it. Top it off with the fact that a song like "Bury Me An Angel" is actually catchy!

So should you get this album if you're new to Arch Enemy? Absolutely - especially if modern derivative bands like Darkest Hour and other melodic metalcore bands are right up your alley. It's good to know your history, you know. It's also the one Arch Enemy release that's going to motivate you into checking out some of the band's later output, possibly even in chronological order. Well what about if you've already got these records? That depends if you already own the live DVD where five of these songs are sung by Gossow already, but in any case, wouldn't you want to hear how some of the best Gothenburg metal out there sounds like with Gossow on vocals instead of Liiva?

Download: Bury Me An Angel, Silverwing, Demonic Science
For the fans of: In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.09.2009
Century Media

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