With the sound of a relentless guitar melody opening the soundscape, the beating drums and that trademark growl, Arch Enemy stand atop of a mountain ready for a battle that is album number 11 Deceivers.
The opening track Handshake With Hell, is a prime slab of anthemic Arch Enemy, with Alissa White-Gluz’s vocals roaring and powerful singing leading the flag waving charge over the hills and valleys of the music, stopping briefly for a softly spoken lament before the dual guitar work of Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis rip shreds off your speakers.
And this is just the opening track.
Deceiver, Deceiver starts with the sounds of drums replicating the ambience of automatic machine guns advancing nearby. White-Gluz screams and the charge is on. The change up in pace is cinematic as the band explodes and the artillery arrive. The song swings and sways with the punch of boxer on top of their game before you’re pummelled into submission
The chest thumping, pounding beats, intense riffage and explosive solos we know and love are all there in The Watcher, In The Eye Of The Storm, House Of Mirrors and that solo in Poisoned Arrow being a particular standout.
Welcome to the apocalypse White-Gluz taunts during the opening over Sunset Over The Empire before the band let loose charging through the speakers in a sonic assault of a highly skilled tank division before it slows into a Slayer infused heavy riff and accompanying solo to round out the song.
One Last Time is definitely a change up from normal with an intro sounding like 80’s pop song before the metal arrives with another relentless riff and White-Gluz sinister vocals greet you the way being confronted by a gang in the street does.
The album finishes with Exiled From Earth, which is about as mid paced as Arch Enemy get. It’s a rocket that grows and grows over galloping drum rhythms before landing and exploding in guitar melody’s and hooks as the band triumphantly plant their flag in your sound system.
Arch Enemy have with this album taken control – of your speakers certainly- of where the heavier spectrum of metal should be. Don’t be deceived, this album is the real deal and if this is what you get when you have a handshake with hell, I’m all for it.
Album Review By Iain McCallum