With Arch Enemy’s first release of original material since 2007’s Rise of the Tyrants, I set pretty high expectations for Khaos Legions. After hearing the first single, Yesterday is Dead and Gone, I got exactly what I expected from Arch Enemy – wicked riffs by the Amott Brother and Angela bringing her unique vocal stylings into the mix. It really set the table for me in anticipation of what would become their 2011 release, Khaos Legions.
Now that I got my hands on the advance of Khaos Legions, I can honestly say that I like a lot of what Arch Enemy does with it. I am not 100% sold on it yet, but it is very early for me. I have only heard it a handful of times.
Khaos Legions starts off with Khaos Overture, a brief instrumental and the perfect placemat for what is coming afterwards. The first song proper is the aforementioned Yesterday is Dead and Gone. Bloodstained Cross follows and it hits us with an intense opening and some more sharp riffwork. Once again, the chorus brings us more of the melodic riffs that we have become accustomed to from Arch Enemy.
One of my favorite tracks on the album is Under Black Flags We March. The song begins with a wicked bass and drum opening straight into an even more wicked guitar riff. Another standout track is City of the Dead, which hits us with another great intro solo into a really nice track.
My main concern of the remainder of the album is that, while it is unmistakenely Arch Enemy, most of the tracks are missing a little something that could propel this album to being one of my favorites of the year already. The album is good. Do not misunderstand me. If you like wicked riffs, amazing vocals and great musicianship, look no further. My problem is that Arch Enemy has set such a high bar already that it is hard to reach that level.