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Arch Enemy Anthems of Rebellion

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Monday, January 26, 2004 @ 1:15 PM


(Century Media)

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Anthems Of Rebellion is the death metal equivalent of Alec Baldwin’s character in GlenGarry Glen Ross – “You think I’m fucking with you? I am not fucking with you!” Arch Enemy is closing the deal…

Raging out of your speakers with a 30 second aggressive, “Hey! Hey!” chant-intro, the second track, “Silent Wars” breaks out blastbeats with a jump-rip rock riff that echoes Judas Priest’s Ram It Down/Painkiller era twin-guitar drum attack with a full-on possessed Linda Blair Exorcist throat, courtesy of the highly-touted Teutonic looker, Angela Gossow. If looks could kill, we’d all be dead. Gossow and her EVIL-IKEA cohorts-in-grime deliver the demonic Rock-goods C.O.D.: whatever it costs you to get this fucking amazing CD will make you feel as if the money you wasted seeing the terrible Matrix sequels has been repaid a million times over. Get the picture?

The blunt stop-riff anthem of “We Will Rise,” all shiny with spooky-synth lacquer brings the noise-force of the onslaught of metal, as the title/chorus is sung like Cookie-Monster working overtime on an Entenmann’s box of mini-chocolate-chip soft-baked morsels… and it’s leads-ahoy all the way, thanks to the melodic guitars of brothers Christopher and Michael Amott doing their neo- Priest-Maiden-Megadeth dueling-guitar assault.

“Dead Eyes See No Future”, with its clipped, Pantera-esque brutality and melodic guitar-chorus carry the torch of bombast with a maximum beat-down melted into neo-Blackmore-style fade-out from a solemn paean to the dead drum/synth dirge into more leads and total rock awesomeness.

Three songs and in, and you’re thinking: “They’re cool, but there’s no way this WHOLE ENTIRE RECORD could slam as hard as the glittering death-rock openers!” Wrong, pal. Dead wrong! “Instinct,” with its “I FEEL NOTHING” growl over ear-splitting double-bass kick-drum smack, continues the rage testimony to cool evil rock… and then with “Leader Of The Rats,” they blaze forth unto gritty hard-rock Armageddon with a fast paced number that belongs in the “Advanced Mosh-Pit Headbanging” course that KNAC will offer to Juniors and Seniors when they fund an institution of Higher-Rock Learning.

Air-guitarists unite and jam out to “Exist To Exit” -- the days of rocking out to “Sweet Home Alabama” are long over. This is your new challenge. Get up, stand up, rock the fuck out! It goes like this: Fast/Slow/Fast/Slow/LEADS/repeat/ROCK!

At this point, you should have forgotten that THIS IS A CHICK SINGING! Oh, yeah -- Phil who? (SEFANY?) Yup, in case you haven’t heard -- it’s open season on rock, come one, come all -- all are welcome -- and Angela Gossow is NOT the Anna Kournikova of rock as some might say, but the fucking VENUS and SERENA WILLIAMS of metal!!! Let the chick from Evanescence and the chick from No Doubt model their Rolexes and pose for SPIN; this lady, this Uber-Fraulein of Rock Sturm Und Drang is the real deal. So there. I just thought that needed to be said (written). Anyone who’s praying along with me for the slow, painful death of Jessica Simpson, take heart.

Jumping ahead to “End Of The Line,” you once again hear the subtle influence of Judas Priest, and begin to question the moniker of “death metal.” What difference does it make what you call it, as long as it rocks? While Kid Rock ‘earlymorningstonedpimps’ his way to an Allman Brothers respectability, it’s clear that real honest rock is afire within Arch Enemy. Fuck, man, they could have called this record, Songs To Murder Your Landlord By, or Bigger And Deffer and it simply wouldn’t matter. Rock and roll, fast and heavy, blistering, amazing and unforgiving, is alive within Arch Enemy.

Enough flowery praise.

Why are you still reading? YOU SAY YOU LOVE ROCK? YOU LOVE METAL? RIGHT NOW, I MEAN RIGHT FUCKING NOW, GO OUT AND BUY THIS, STEAL THIS, STOP WATCHING MTV, DUMP YOUR GIRLFRIEND WHO LIKES ALICIA KEYS AND THINKS SIMPLE PLAN IS ‘KINDA COOL’, SKIP SCHOOL, QUIT YOUR BORING JOB, GET OFF THE INTERNET & LOOSEN THAT TIE, BABE; START DOING SOMETHING WITH YOUR MISERABLE LIFE!! BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP ARCH ENEMY!!! NOW!

ARCH ENEMY- NOW AND FOREVER!

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