Arch Enemy fans certainly couldn’t wait to get their hands on the new album War Eternal after the shock announcement of Angela Gossow leaving the band and changing into management. Arch Enemy didn’t waste any time and presented Alissa White-Gluz as the new singer in charge and produced their new album. And to answer the most pressing question: yes, Alissa White-Gluz can fill Angela Gossow’s shoes. Without trying to copy her predecessor she uses a slightly higher tone and puts her own mark on her first release with Arch Enemy. Almost forgotten by most of the media is that the band also has a new guitarist with Nick Cordle replacing Michael Amotts younger brother Christopher. He fits into the band on a very high level and presents himself as fine musician. His presence seems to lift the whole game of Arch Enemy.
War Eternal is Arch Enemy’s 10th longplayer and this time around they published another technically impeccable, brutal yet melodic death metal album. The songs are heavy but do not lack catchiness. Highlights of War Eternal are the title track, You Will Know My Name with its more complex structure and the orchestral Time Is Back and Avalanche. All songs are full of little details so that after even the tenth time listening there are still new fine points to discover. Add the sharp production by Jens Bogren (Paradise Lost, Opeth, Kreator) and you have a very strong release. The only mistake Arch Enemy are guilty of is that War Eternal is a pretty safe play. There is nothing really new, risky or adventurous. Arch Enemy die-hard fans will love War Eternal but headbangers new to Arch Enemy might be better off with classics like Wages Of Sin or Anthems Of Rebellion.
8 of 10