Arch Enemy @ The Gov, Adelaide 14/2/2023
When it comes to powerhouse metal bands, they are few greater than Arch Enemy, so to have them grace the intimate Gov venue is a truly remarkable experience. Be warned, Arch Enemy have come to burn the place down.
Coming out the blocks with a brutal blast of force that is Deceiver, Deceiver, the band put you on notice and the audience seems a little shell shocked at first but fire back by the time The World Is Yours is in full swing with Daniel Erlandsson’s rolling drums before that drop has the crowd bouncing.
Vocalist Alissa White-Gluz – dressed like Venom and not to be messed with armed with a blue mane and growling vocals – moves to every part of the extended stage, high kicking and flag waving as she engages in the back and forth singing with the crowd.
The dual guitars of Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis start Ravenous and somehow the energy lifts again as the venue claps to the beat in unison.
What becomes apparent when you watch the band and go deeper than the mesmeric vocals, is that while a power metal band, Arch Enemy are really an 80’s band. The guitar melodies’ and riffs bounce and swoon the whole night in beautifully crafted sonic joy. Make it modern and put those vocals on it and then the metal comes to the fore. It’s quite delicious really.
War Eternal and In The Eye Of The Storm are great examples of the 80’s riffing and solos before House Of Mirrors chugs hard after the dual soloing starts the crowd off head banging and fist punching.
That’s what an Arch Enemy show is all about, a coming together, like an army, supported and cherished and feeling you’re part of something greater.
The feeling of belonging continues throughout the set, the audience every part as powerful as the band and none more so as Sunset Over The Empire as Gluz pushes the whole crowd to bellow back the words. Years of being on the road, you can see just how great the band is as the hairs stand on the back of your neck. Extraordinary that they can still top that with As The Pages Burn straight after.
Loomis and Amott continue to drop the great riffs and solos and are as every bit as entertaining as the charismatic front person through tracks like Enemy Within, Burning Angel and finishing with Nemesis.
It may well have been Valentine’s Day however for fans of metal, fans of exquisite musicianship and fans of a rabble rousing good time, an Arch Enemy show is all the love we need.
Live Review By Iain McCallum