“The Doomsday Machine” by Arch Enemy

Artist: Arch Enemy
Title: “The Doomsday Machine”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 7/26/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

The highly anticipated album by Sweden’s Arch Enemy has arrived and “The Doomsday Machine” will roll over you like a freight train if you are not careful. The band has become one of the more interesting providers of the form, with a very musical and technical level of Death Metal meets Thrash, along with the growling demon vocals. Led by the twin-guitar wizardry of the Amott Brothers (Christopher and Michael), the band demonstrates that you can be brutally heavy and fast, but still rip up the guitar strings like the most progressive of players. It is this Maiden meets Priest kind of ability on top of the brutality that I think separates Arch Enemy from other bands in the Metal genre. With “The Doomsday Machine”, there are many peaks and valleys as you are often brought to the top of the mountain only to be thrown over the edge by their intensity. The release might come across to some as too accessible and not as destructive as “Anthems Of Rebellion” or “Wages Of Sin”, but there is nothing on the recording that shows the band following a commercial edge in my opinion. The band needs no such tricks to guarantee their success and have proven a growth in their popularity here in the States by being selected to be part of Ozzfest as well as sold-out headlining shows at many popular venues along the way. The album begins with a mood setting “enter The Machine”, which is an instrumental and serves as the perfect opener for “Taking Back My Soul”. This track itself displays many of the skills you will enjoy from the players around the whole record. “Nemesis” is the song that gained most of the attention on the album and rightfully so since we find Angela Gossow delivering the goods like never before. She is clearly not your typical female front person and shows that not all female leads need to be demure and soft. Angela seems to be the type to kill beers with and who you want on your side when the going gets tough – a true beauty, but also a wild woman on the stage and recording. Those who have ever caught the band live already know how imposing she is as a performer. Her presence in a band like this also gives inspiration to other female singers who are less like Tarja (Nightwish) and instead hold a darker level of vocal talent. It’s a welcome change to a role that risked becoming stagnant otherwise.

Rounded out by Daniel Erlandsson and Sharlee D’Angelo (drums and bass), the band brings a very intense musical experience to the listener. Numbers like “My Apocalypse” and “Mechanic God Creation”, show the different skills and time signature changeups that make Arch Enemy music much better than the bands that opt for one format and sound for an entire record. Erlandsson is a great drummer and provides a lot of tasty fills and patterns along with a thunderous double-bass technique and he gets to show off a little in “Machkampf”. Above it all, the main appeal is in the guitar work and the vocals since it is such a standout effort. Sadly, Christopher Amott would remove himself from the lineup to pursue personal interests. While he will be missed from the band, I am certain that a suitable replacement will come in to the bands ranks. The CD is enhanced, so if you place it in your computer there are several photos, wallpapers and buddy icons to see as well as tour dates. It would have been nice to see a couple of videos, but there is a DVD coming and people will be able to get the full visual effect of the band from this. Check this out, and then look into some of the back catalog.

Track Listing:
1. Enter The Machine
2. Taking Back My Soul
3. Nemesis
4. My Apocalypse
5. Carry The Cross
6. I Am Legend/Out For Blood
7. Skeleton Dance
8. Hybrids Of Steel
9. Mechanic God Creation
10. Machtkampf
11. Slaves Of Yesterday

Official Web site: www.ArchEnemy.net

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