Metal Review: Arch Enemy: War Eternal (2014)

Arch Enemy War Eternal

Purchase Arch Enemy War Eternal

So, here we are again with a new Arch Enemy album. They seem to be an easy target for haters. They are a bigger band with a female vocalist. You have to hate them, right? Regardless of popular opinion, I am a huge fan of Arch Enemy. Since vocalist Angela Gossow joined the band, they have been at the top of their game and have truly honed their style of melodic death metal.

Recently, the band shocked the world when Angela announced that she was stepping down as lead vocalist, but continuing on as the band’s manager. To fill her shoes, they chose ex-The Agonist frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz who was a nice leader herself. To think that she could fill Angela’s shoes was just crazy talk. Angela is a beast on stage with her attitude and demeanor. Se is just an excellent frontperson. Of course, I use the term beast in reservation because she is drop-dead gorgeous, but as a vocalist and frontperson, she is top notch.

Now the pieces are in place. All we need is the new album, so low and behold, we now have “War Eternal.” The new album proves that Alissa White-Gluz is more than worthy of taking over the lead vocals of the band. That is not to say that I do not miss Angela, but White-Gluz is just as intense with a decent enough voice.

All of these positive statements are coming from a guy who enjoyed the hell out of their Johan Liiva era as well as their Angela Gossow era. Overall, the band has so many amazing songs that I just never understood the hate for the band. With Gossow, the band defined their sound and made a name for themselves. I know that comment will piss a lot of people off, but it is simply the truth.

“War Eternal” has the band re-energized, but the majority of the album is not much of a departure from their previous works. There is a splattering of some exquisite classical elements thrown in during the album, which just becomes the calm before the storm. The majority of the album is still in-your-face pure adrenaline and ass-kicking.

After the opening intro to the album, it begins with Never Forgive, Never Forget, which quickly introduces White-Gluz with a scream and the chaos begins. The track is full of riffs and hooks and White-Gluz feels right at home shouting in a fit of rage.

The title track, War Eternal, shows the band at their melodic best with some great guitar work from the tandem of Michael Amott and Nick Cordle who are simply intense throughout all elements of the album. Another standout track is No More Regrets (check out the new video).

Overall, “War Eternal” turns out to be one of Arch Enemy’s finest outputs in recent years, which is quite a surprise to me because of what they had going against them. Lesser bands would have faltered and failed with such an undertaking ahead.

Arch Enemy: War Eternal Rating

8.5 Stars (8.5 / 10)

War Eternal Tracklisting

1. Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude in F minor) (intro)
2. Never Forgive, Never Forget
3. War Eternal
4. As the Pages Burn
5. No More Regrets
6. You Will Know My Name
7. Graveyard of Dreams (instrumental)
8. Stolen Life
9. Time Is Black
10. On and On
11. Avalanche
12. Down to Nothing
13. Not Long for This World (instrumental)