Artist: Arch Enemy
Venue: Irving Plaza
Opener: Mnemic, All That Remains, A Perfect Murder
Label: Century Media Records
This year Ozzfest featured one of the most dynamic bands to come around in a long time. Sweden’s Arch Enemy are masters of Metal and possess probably the most intimidating of all female singers in their roster. Angela Gossow is a beauty to behold but she does not rely on soft melody or operatic style and instead gives you guttural growls that seem to come from the pit itself. The show at Irving Plaza was among their first run of headlining shows and it would place them with a couple of interesting bands. Joining the group would be A Perfect Murder, All That Remains and Mnemic. The venue itself is great for a band like this as it has a larger capacity than B.B. King Blues Club might afford and there are levels to wander around on should you feel that need. My problem with the venue is the late start time and doors that I have encountered of late. With 4 acts on the bill there is no reason to only open the doors at 8pm. This makes the headlining band get on very late and cause people who have late out of state trains or work in the morning to miss more than they can see. Opening the doors at 7:00 is a smarter move. Let’s hope they change this sometime going forward.
A Perfect Murder: I was not able to see this band as I was unsure of the timing for the night and ran a little later than planned. I make mention of them and list their site in case anyone wants to look into them on their own.
Mnemic: Immediately following the “Fury Of The Fall” show where the group was a part of the support for Meshuggah, Mnemic was set to give you a dose of their Metal. As I referenced in my Meshuggah review the bands new singer Tony had brought them to a different level and now offered a more brutal take on the old songs. However tonight while the music sounded great it seemed as though Tony was having a problem with his stage monitor. Back and forth he went having techs run onto the stage and make adjustments. I saw this all first hand being down in the photo pit taking pictures for you to enjoy. Suddently his face tensed and leg raised as he kicked the monitor right off the stage. The audience was at safe distance but I was right in front of it but moved like a jackrabbit in order to not find myself hurt. Apparently the photo pit can also be as crazed as the mosh pit, I was just unaware of the fact going in. From there the band continued into a killer set that featured more aggressive versions of songs found on “The Audio Injected Soul”. I look forward to a new recording from these guys as I think Tony has changed their music just so that it can appeal to a larger vein of hard core Metal heads. Expect this album in the early part of 2006 according to announcements online.
All That Remains: This was my first exposure to this band and while I thought they should have gone on before Mnemic I still thought they were doing a great job. I am not a big fan of Metal Core but I surely don’t discredit it as there is some fine talent in these ranks. According to fans they were playing most of the their album entitled “This Darkened Heart” so if that is the case I need to look into it. The band mixes a lot more traditional styled Metal into their songs than some of their peers for this genre seem to showcase and it is that difference that made them more interesting for me to see.
Arch Enemy: I had only been following the music of Arch Enemy on CD and Video never catching them live when they came around on Ozzfest or solo performance and tonight I would see the error of my ways. The club was not as crowded as I had expected yet this was a Monday night and now it was almost 11 PM, and believe it or not people do have to get up for work or school. It sucked for those that had to bail for when the group came onstage it was an assault from start to finish. Those who are aware of the band can attest that while a stunner in looks, Angela Gossow is ferocious as a front person. The fact that she does not rely on the opera style in any sense gives hopes to a new and different generation of female singer both experienced and aspiring. She commands the crowd with an intensity that some male singers should watch and see how it can be done. Musically Arch Enemy is a band on fire and on their recent album “The Doomsday Machine” one can find their ears racked thanks to the twin guitars of the Amott Brothers and the drumming of Daniel Erlandsson and bass of Sharlee D’Angelo. In the live sense this would be no different in sound however one of the Amott’s would not be present. It was not long after the album that Christopher Amott decided to no longer tour and instead focus on other interests in his life. In his place would be Fredrik Akesson who would do a stand up job to say the least. Top to bottom the Arch Enemy set was a brutal display of their power and for the audience that was able to be in attendance at this point they certainly felt the impact with every note. There were solos from all members except Sharlee and that surprised me to see the new member showcased so prominently so early in their tenure. Often they are relegated to the back at first, not in the case of Arch Enemy. The band played a lot of great songs as you can see by the posted list and among them were my favorites of “Ravenous”, “Dead Eyes See No Future” and “We Will Rise”. I hope this will not be the last time that I catch this band in a headlining set and I hope for their return very soon. Seeing them on an Ozzfest is nice, but the early bands get so little time that you cannot appreciate them enough. If the lackluster attendance was due to Ozzfest then I think those Metal heads need to check their pulse and see if the Metal blood is still pumping.
This was really one of those overall great shows and every band performed admirably and to a great response. I ran into a few members of Mnemic outside and Obeast was very happy to see that I had made it past “monitor drama” unscathed. Believe me folks I gave Tony some considerable shit about that, and he was really cool and apologetic. It was just one of those nights and as a result I learn to also watch out not only behind me but in front as well. Ahhhhhh Metal. Does one get this anywhere else? I don’t think so.
Arch Enemy Set List:
2. Heart Of Darkness
3. Dead Eyes See No Future
4. My Apocalypse
5. Burning Angel
6. Daniel Solo
7. Taking Back My Soul
8. Diva Satanica
9. Michael Solo
10. Hybrids Of Steel
11. I Am Legend/Out For Blood
12. Bury Me An Angel
13. Fredrick Solo
15. Skeleton Dance – encore
16. Dead Bury Your Dead – encore
17. We Will Rise – encore
18. Fields Of Desolation – encore