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Arch Enemy
Anthems of Rebellion
September 2003
Released: 2003, Century Media Records
Rating: 4.8/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Now this is rip your face off, tear your arse apart goatse style, brutalizing, extreme, yet melodic...heavy metal!!! Just after hearing this album through once, I immediately thought it was better than the band’s previous outing WAGES OF SIN. Could this be Arch Enemy’s best album to date? The jury’s out on that until I let it sink in for a year or so, but I know it will come out near the top.

After a short and pointless 32-second intro, the slaughter gets underway with “Silent Wars”. The instant this one kicked in I was won over once again by the excellent guitar playing and masterful riffing of the Amott brothers. This one also has some of those jaw-drop shred solos that Arch Enemy is well known for. The vocals on here also are markedly improved from WAGES OF SIN, a point that is made again throughout the album in several songs. Up next is another of the albums stronger songs, “We Will Rise”. Keyboards are noticeable in this song and subtly add to the overall sound. They also add some cool sound effects to other songs like the beginning of “Instinct”. Arch Enemy has never had a lot of acoustic guitars on their albums (which is fine by me), but the very short (too short) instrumental “Marching on a Dead End Road” features some nice playing. Still, I would like to hear Arch Enemy do a completely over the top guitar wankery instrumental song like Cacophony perfected in their short-lived existence. Following the acoustic interlude is the shortest vocal song of the album, “Despicable Heroes” which features a nice tremelo picked death metal riff and some great machine gun double kick drums. The song doesn’t have a solo, short and to the point was the goal here I guess! One vocal aspect that I am glad to finally hear in Arch Enemy is some clean vocals. There aren’t as much of them as I’d like to hear, but seeing as how they’ve never used any before you will notice them on here. “End of the Line” is the first time they show up as backing vocals. The following song, “Dehumanization” also has some clean vocals in duet with Angela and are not as hidden. They do not overtake Angela’s normal satanic gurgling, but they do add some dimension to the vocal department.

Arch Enemy is on the verge of even greater success with ANTHEMS OF REBELLION. In my opinion they deserve it! I know some will cry “sellout” like they do any time a band does something different or anytime a band breaks out of the underground. The elitists often will condemn the band for “making it”. Sometimes they have a point, because the band had to water down something to get more mass acceptance. However, Arch Enemy is FAR from watered down. They sound as extreme now as they always have. The solos rip like always, the vocals are brutal, and the riffing is excellent. The sound and clarity of the album is also great, thanks to producer Andy Sneap of course!

ANTHEMS OF REBELLION will definitely make it to my list of the best albums of 2003. The band easily outplays many of their peers from the melodic death metal and blackened thrash metal heap, yet they still manage to push the boundaries of their musical style and create a fury that is second to none.
Track Listing

01. Tear Down The Walls (Intro)
02. Silent Wars
03. We Will Rise
04. Dead Eyes See No Future
05. Instinct
06. Leader Of The Rats
07. Exist to Exit
08. Marching On A Dead End Road (Instr.)
09. Despicable Heroes
10. End of the Line
11. Dehumanization
12. Anthem (Instr.)
13. Saints and Sinners


Angela Gossow - vocals
Michael Amott - guitars
Christopher Amott - guitars
Sharlee D'Angelo - bass
Daniel Erlandsson – drums

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