Arch Enemy - War Eternal review



Reviewer:
6.9

380 users:
7.96
Band: Arch Enemy
Album: War Eternal
Release date: 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.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 17.06.2014 by Ag Fox loves listening to music but is far from being a prolific writer. This corner just shows how territorial he is.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 42   Visited by: 546 users
23.06.2014 - 01:10
Valankir
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.
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23.06.2014 - 05:32
BlueMobius
Account deleted
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.
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24.06.2014 - 20:41
Opethian
Cover art looks very similar to Bloodbath's 'Unblessing the Purity' EP ... just saying
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26.06.2014 - 22:12
TX09
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
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18.07.2014 - 22:29
Doc Godin
Obnoxious
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.
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"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
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20.07.2014 - 00:36
Chronic
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.
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My problem is a bunch of motherfuckers we don't even know calling us assholes on the internet to teenagers and guys who can't even get laid.
Putting a stop to that is the most important thing we could ever do.
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03.08.2014 - 06:28
screenshot
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?
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17.08.2014 - 15:31
metalization
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
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28.08.2014 - 22:47
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
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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pewpew.. gotcha
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08.10.2014 - 16:35
Passenger
Lost To Apathy
Of course it's not genre-breaking... but it's a fucking awesome album! Top3 Arch Enemy for sure (along with Wages Of Sin and Anthems Of Rebellion).
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You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it ~ Mean Streets
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07.02.2015 - 10:50
AssailantForce
Arch Enemy (AE) hit a fairly impressive mainstream melodic death/core band that was The Agonist(TA) like a Black Plague. For some reason TA suffers a creative retardation - drastically dumbed down from the sound of single releases. While generic, the songwriting was still decent/likable compared to AE. But it's dull as charcoal compared to their works on Lullabies.. for example. Alissa is an amazing vocalist especially the classical and layered cleans. While joining AE crippled her better talent she sounds fine here, but somehow contracted the cheese disease from AE.
AE has well established itself as the Suicide Silence of Melodic Death Metal. I haven't heard their last couple of albums. Except the music videos releases. They're no progressive metal so I deem it fair to judge them by their choice of single releases. And of course, these reviews seal the deal for me. Judging by the 4 tracks I heard of War Eternal, they still use cheese, and they still sound painfully generic in their most aggressive moments.
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24.07.2015 - 13:14
Danny Thomas
I guess I went in not expecting much, but It was better than i thought it'd be. Similar formula, but it felt more alive and keeps growing on me. I listened to it after reading a lot of the negative comments and to me it's a lot better than it's getting credit for.
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Our children are dead. Burnt in the ruins that were left by war.
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