Arch Enemy Impresses Once More With New Album, Vocalist

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Stalwart Swedish metal band Arch Enemy released its ninth full length studio effort last month.  While being the ninth full length release for the band, it is the first for the band with new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz.  Gluz, the former vocalist of The Agonist, replaced now former Arch Enemy vocalist Angela Gossow earlier this year, shocking a number of fans.  After having spent some thirteen years as the band’s vocalist, one might think that such a shakeup might not be such a good thing.  But as this album has evidenced, it might be the proverbial kick in the pants that the band needed.  As audiences will note in listening through the album, the band has taken the speed/death metal sound that made it famous throughout its previous albums and added a thrash element to the mix, making the album even more of interest to audiences. One of the best of this album is its title track and lead single. The social commentary of the song’s lyrical side alongside the pure aggression and power in the music make it clear why it was chosen as the album’s lead. ‘You Will Know my Name’ will catch listeners’ ears just as much with its scathing indictment of those people that would call themselves friends to ones face but talk trash behind one’s back. The song’s musical side along with that indictment will reach so many listeners. And the instrumental ‘Graveyard of Dreams’ is another show of talent from guitarist Michael Amott. These are just a few samples of what Arch Enemy offers audiences on its latest full length effort. Together with the album’s other songs, they are sure to impress any fan new or old.

Arch Enemy leads off its first album with new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz in grand fashion with the absolutely searing ‘War Eternal.’ A better choice for the band’s re-introduction couldn’t have been chosen. Anyone that is familiar with Arch Enemy’s body of work will be just as impressed with this song as those that might be newer to the band’s sound. The song, penned by Amott—Amott wrote the lyrics to each song as an added note—is rife with social commentary. Amott writes in this song, “Friend or foe/There’s no way to know/Through the battlefield of life/It’s ill or be killed/So many times/It’s a matter of degree/From being up on your luck/To down on your knees.” He’s writing about life ingeneral and how it can be tough and easy from one point to another. He goes on to write about those that would make life difficult, writing that “They try to change you/Crush and break you/Try to tell you what to do/They’d like to have control of you.” Whether it be politicians, those within one’s own social circles or otherwise, there is not one person out there to whom this song doesn’t relate. Through all the difficulties, he reminds listeners not to give up, writing, “Search deep inside/Remember who you are.” In the end, it proves to be a song of self-empowerment and inner strength. Again, what better way to introduce the band’s new album?

‘War Eternal’ proves with the combination of its searing musical side and equally powerful lyrical theme of self-empowerment to be the perfect choice to introduce Arch Enemy’s new album. Just as impressive from this new album is the similarly themed ‘You Will Know My Name.’ It doesn’t boast the same buzz saw guitars and machine gum drumming. But the way in which it builds from almost a brooding opening into the driving classic sound which audiences have come to know will impress just as much. That slow boil helps to heighten the song’s lyrical side, in which Amott writes about false friends. He writes of said individuals in this song, “The judging eyes watching me/Is all I’ve ever known/When I try to open up my heart/I am ridiculed and torn apart/You tell jokes I’ll never get to hear/Behind my back at my expense.” He tackles the things that those false friends like to say about others, writing that “There’s something inside me/And I know it’s good/I’m not evil, just misunderstood…Today I break my silence/Strip you of your dignity/Tear down your perfect world/Your perfect lies…No longer invisible/You will know my name.” In its own way, this could be the anthem of those who have been bullied for years on end. And just as the blues helps people in tough situations feel better, so could this song help those who have been bullied by fake friends, and perhaps even prevent them from doing what so many others before have done. To that extent, Amott and his band mates are again to be applauded for this song’s inclusion on this album.

‘War Eternal’ and ‘You Will Know My Name’ are both powerful and important additions to Arch Enemy’s latest full length effort. They both show the band’s technical abilities and its ability to reach fans lyrically as well. Just as much as the band exhibits its continued talents through the aforementioned songs, it shows once again that it can create deep emotion solely with its musical abilities. This is evidenced in the fully instrumental piece, ‘Graveyard of Dreams.’ The song only runs one minute and ten seconds. Even within that short time, it generates quite the emotion thanks to Amott’s guitar work. The very title, ‘Graveyard of Dreams’ creates an image of someone in the depths of depression. And Amott’s guitar work illustrates this image even better. As with ‘You Will Know My Name,’ the depth of emotion expressed in this song could actually serve as music therapy of sorts. That is because of the band’s ability to relate to listeners even just through music. Listeners will hear the music expressing how they might be feeling. In turn, it could serve as a point of strength. Yet again, the members of Arch Enemy are to be applauded here. It is yet one more piece of the whole that makes War Eternal another impressive release from Arch Enemy.

‘War Eternal,’ ‘You Will Know My Name,’ and ‘Graveyard of Dreams’ are each great additions to War Eternal. They are only part of what makes this album a success for the band. The albums’ remaining songs each pose their own argument for the album’s success. And audiences new and old alike will agree to that in hearing the album in its entirety. War Eternal is available now in stores and online. It is available both in standard and Limited Edition Triple-Disc set online via the Century Media Records store at http://www.cmdistro.com/Item/Arch_Enemy_-_War_Eternal_-Ltd._CD_Mediabook_Edit.-/47541?Aff=cus and http://www.cmdistro.com/Item/Arch_Enemy_-_War_Eternal_Ltd._Deluxe_Artbook_-3CD-/47540?Aff=cus. More information on War Eternal, Arch Enemy’s current tour schedule and all the latest from the band is available online at http://www.facebook.com/archenemyofficial and http://www.archenemy.net. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Arch Enemy, The Agonist Announce New Vocalists

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Two bands on Century Media’s roster have new vocalists.

Arch Enemy announced this week that long-time vocalist Angela Gossow has stepped down and will focus her energies on management.  The band announced that in her place, it has tapped former vocalist of extreme Canadian metal band The Agonist, Alissa White-Gluz as the band’s new vocalist.  Having taken over vocal duties with Arch Enemy, White-Gluz has been replaced in The Agonist by Vick y Psarakis.

Members of both bands released statement on the vocalist carousel switch-up.  In regards to naming Psarakis the new vocalist of The Agonist, that band’s members released the following statement:

“Today we announce that after 3 albums and countless tours we officially part ways with vocalist Alissa White-Gluz. We wish Alissa all the best with Arch Enemy and her future endeavors.

 

It is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for The Agonist! We are thrilled to announce the newest addition to the The Agonist family. Please give a warm welcome to very talented vocalist Vicky Psarakis!

 

Stay tuned for new The Agonist material coming VERY soon!”

 

Angela Gossow also shared her thoughts on her decision to step down as Arch Enemy’s vocalist and her thoughts on her own personal future.  She sent the following message to Arch Enemy’s fans.

 

“Dear ARCH ENEMY fans, this is not easy to tell you…I have decided to step down from being ARCH ENEMY’s voice of anger. After 13 years of pure fucking metal, 6 studio albums and countless tours through five continents, I feel the need to enter a different phase in my life, be with my family and pursue other interests. I will however remain business manager for ARCH ENEMY, and I will continue to develop my artist management roster.

I am staying true to my heavy metal roots, just leaving the spotlight so to speak. I am passing the torch to the super talented Alissa White-Gluz, whom I’ve known as a dear friend and a superb vocalist for many years. I always thought she deserved a chance to shine – and now she’s getting it. Just like I got that chance back in 2001.

I want to thank all ARCH ENEMY fans, our labels Century Media (worldwide) and Trooper Entertainment (Japan), our dedicated road crew, and in particular Michael, Daniel and Sharlee for their love and support throughout all these years. It’s been one hell of a ride! We conquered every situation, made it through thick & thin together in the most exciting and rewarding time of my life. Thank you all for being there with me on stage, in front of the stage, and backstage. You have touched my heart, and I hope I was able to give something back to you. I am grateful for the wonderful memories – I will cherish them forever!

I am looking forward to the next decade of ARCH ENEMY madness! Right now I am listening through rough mixes of the new studio album and I am blown away! 2014 will see a renewed ARCH ENEMY at the top of their game. I am proud to be part of this ARCH ENEMY chapter, albeit in a different way – revving up the engines behind the scenes. I hope to see you in front of the stage; I will join you there this time. Let the killing begin, once again!”

 

White-Gluz was ecstatic in her statement regarding being asked to take on vocal duties for Arch Enemy.  She explained about how she had been a fan of Arch Enemy and Angela Gossow ever since the band’s 2001 album Wages of Sin.  She released the following statement regarding the announcement.

 

“I am very honored and happy to announce a new chapter in my life and musical career beginning now; I have joined forces with one of my all-time favorite and globally respected bands, ARCH ENEMY. ‘Wages of Sin’ was the first metal album I ever bought, and it was love at first listen. It is not often that you get a phone call from your favorite band asking you to join! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such amazingly talented musicians whom I also consider great friends. I look forward to being able to write and perform at a whole new level now with ARCH ENEMY! Music is forever, metal is limitless and this is only the beginning!”

 

Arch Enemy’s founder and lead guitarist Michael Amott spoke fondly of Gossow when asked about her departure and replacement.  He noted her devotion to the band and about his expectations for the band’s future with White-Gluz.

 

“We are eternally grateful to Angela for all her passion, hard work and talent. Her legacy is tremendous and will always be a big part of the band’s history. We feel great pride in what has been achieved in the past, but also look forward to new battles and new victories. We welcome Alissa with open arms – and we hope you will have open ears. We might have just created our most wicked metal opus yet with our upcoming album ‘War Eternal’!”

 

Arch Enemy will release its new album War Eternal worldwide via Century Media Records and via Trooper Entertainment in Japan.  The band will kick off a European tour in support of War Eternal on May 23rd in Bucharest, Romania.  The band’s tour runs thirty-seven dates and runs through October 3rd in Yekaterinburg, Russia.  The band’s current tour itinerary is listed below.

 

ARCH ENEMY Confirmed Live Dates:

23.05.2014 Turbohalle, Bucharest, Romania

24.05.2014 Metal Summer Festival, Istanbul, Turkey

25.05.2014 Mixtape 5 , Sofia, Bulgaria

27.05.2014 Majestic Music Club, Bratislava, Slovakia

29.05.2014 Rock and Roll Arena, Romagnano Sesia (Novara), Italy

30.05.2014 New Age Club, Roncade, Italy

02.06.2014 L’Etage, Rennes, France

03.06.2014 Le 106, Rouen, France

04.06.2014 La Laiterie, Strasbourg, France

05.06.2014 Rosenhof, Osnabrück, Germany

07.06.2014 Sweden Rock Festival, Sölvesborg, Sweden

09.06.2014 Studio USF, Bergen, Norway

10.06.2014 John Dee, Oslo, Norway

11.06.2014 Copenhell, Copenhagen, Denmark

13.06.2014 Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany

14.06.2014 Conrad Sohm, Dornbirn, Austria

15.06.2014 Nova Rock – Nickelsdorf, Austria
27.06.2014 Rock am Härtsfeldsee, Dischingen, Germany

09.07.2014 RockMaraton, Pecs, Hungary

11.07.2014 Rock Harz Open Air, Ballenstedt, Germany

12.07.2014 Masters Of Rock, Vizovice, Czech Republic

13.07.2014 Seven Festival, Wegorzewo, Poland

19.07.2014 Dong Open Air, Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany

02.08.2014 Wacken Open Air, Wacken, Germany

07.08.2014 Getaway Rock, Gävle, Sweden

08.08.2014 Leyendas Del Rock, Alicante, Spain

09.08.2014 Alcatraz Metal Festival, Kortrijk, Belgium

14.08.2014 Summer Breeze, Dinkelsbühl, Germany

17.08.2014 Alt-Fest, Kettering, UK

22.09.2014 Re:Republic, Minsk, Belarus

23.09.2014 Yunost’, Kiev, Ukraine

25.09.2014 Arena Hall, Krasnodar, Russia

27.09.2014 Glav Club, Moscow, Russia

28.09.2014 Zal Ozhidaniya, Saint Petersburg, Russia

30.09.2014 Otdykh Club, Novosibirsk, Russia

01.10.2014 Angar Club, Omsk, Russia

03.10.2014 Tele Club, Yekaterinburg, Russia

More information on Arch Enemy is available online at http://www.archenemy.net, http://www.facebook.com/archenemyofficial, and http://twitter.com/archenemymetal.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.