Artist: Arch Enemy
Title: Khaos Legions
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Release Date: 27th May 2011
Label: Century Media
With their 9th album, ARCH ENEMY are back with the political rather than musical manifesto. And if the songs that influenced them the most in terms of music were ‘New Age Messiah’ of SENTENCED and ‘Corporeal Jigsore Quandary’ of CARCASS, I think that the lyrics were inspired by the Russian nihilists, most notably Sergey Nechayev. And it wouldn’t be a paradox if I say that the lyrics actually are in line with the bourgeois conception of Anarchy, which for them means only chaos and destruction. But have no worries you prudent listener! Here we are in 2011 and their “anarchy” is their trademark to sell more t-shirts with cool logos, hoodies, CDs and shit like that from eBay, under the consumer “friendly” prices between $5 and $43. I bet that their label is brought down in its knees seeing the band’s mighty opposition to the status quo of the world as we know it and their high rank executives are begging for their lives spitting instead of blood all the caviar and pink champagne they have had in their whole life. Priceless!
Apart from all that, you may wonder about the music. Well, if you believe that HATEBREED is a bunch of wimping nuns then this album is not for you. The album is not purely Death Metal and for the matter of fact it is hardly Melodic Death Metal. More than likely it should be characterised as Melodic Something Metal. The ‘Khaos Overture’ opens strikingly the whole album and then I surely enjoyed the tension and the dynamics of ‘Yesterday Is Dead And Gone’. In ‘Bloodstained Cross’ is a riff alarmingly similar to the ‘New Age Messiah’, but the song holds the proper levels of aggression. Personally I don’t mind at all they have adopted this musically lesser aggressive aspect in the songs; at least they didn’t acquiesce to their hardcore listeners. I guess that it will be only them who might oppose the intro of ‘Under Black Flags We March’, which has this tone of hype-rock, almost groovy that is.
No need to write platitudes, the whole album seemed to be rather balanced, or it would be rather balanced if it stopped there. The problem is that they put way too many songs in it and the repetitions started to show up. I developed a certain fatigue, I might say. All their tricks and ideas seem to fade away pretty soon. The intro of ‘City Of The Dead’ is fantastic in its oriental aspect but they’ve killed it after some seconds making one wonder why on earth they’ve put it there in the first place. The thing that holds the whole CD in its place is surely the solos, the intros and the instrumental songs. But honestly, what are the differences of the riffs and the sound of the drums between CARCASS and ARCH ENEMY? Practically none. You can listen to ‘Corporeal Jigsore Quandary’ of CARCASS and that song pretty much sums up the whole feeling of the album in its hard aspects.
Yet the album is listenable and likeable. With its own idiosyncrasies, the ups and downs, the easiness of the songs, the questionable catchiness and the at times washed-out aggression it is charming as long as you don’t take things to heart. The only oxymoron in the CD is the voice of Angela Gossow. Indeed, her vocals are aggressive enough as expected from her male peers in the genre and it goes as far that she has to outdo them in a competition. I’ve checked out some comments here and there and saw some sad and pathetic guys accusing her that her vocals aren’t aggressive enough. Does she have to please some men with limited horizons, who barely manage not to walk and not step on their own testicles (!) and who can’t move on from the fact that Johan left and she remained as the lead vocalist? The front women such as Poly Styrene (RIP) and Wendy O’Williams (RIP) till the modern ones didn’t give two flyin’ fucks what their fans should be expecting from them, and especially when it comes to a band that has the anarchy logos printed all over it, the subjugation to patriarchy is striking when it dresses in the form of equality. Is she afraid that by changing here and there her voice they might lose some customers?
01. Khaos Overture (Instrumental) – 1:30
02. Yesterday Is Dead And Gone – 4:21
03. Bloodstained Cross – 4:49
04. Under Black Flags We March – 4:40
05. No Gods, No Masters – 4:14
06. City Of The Dead – 4:32
07. Through The Eyes Of A Raven – 5:09
08. Cruelty Without Beauty – 4:59
09. We Are Godless Entities (Instrumental) – 1:34
10. Cult Of Chaos – 5:10
11. Thorns In My Flesh – 4:54
12. Turn To Dust (Instrumental) – 0:39
13. Vengeance Is Mine – 4:11
14. Secrets – 4:09
Angela Gossow – Vocals
Michael Amott – Lead Guitars
Christopher Amott – Lead Guitars
Sharlee D'Angelo – Bass
Daniel Erlandsson – Drums
www.archenemy.net / www.khaoslegions.com
Total: 8 / 10