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Arch Enemy
Doomsday Machine
November 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Evil Rocker

I remember some years ago seeing ARCH ENEMY in Worcester, MA opening for NEVERMORE. At the time they had a different vocalist Johan 'Liiva' Axelsson. Though I had heard some of the material previously on CD I had been so-so on it. The live performance turned out to be quite good. When they switched to Angela Gossow I viewed it more as a publicity stunt to get a hot chick singer who could growl. A novelty indeed! In fact, I have seen them live twice since with Angela singing and she indeed easy on the eyes and somewhat of an oddity with her vocal style.

I was given this CD by a friend and did not anticipate liking it but I gave it a listen. I must say that I find this to be a very good CD, far surpassing my expectations of bland, boring, routine Swedish "melodic death metal". Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this CD is the heavy use of dual guitars and solo's, not something usually in the forefront of this genre. There is a notable METALLICA feel to certain riffs throughout but especially on the track "My Apocalypse". The voice is fairly typical melodic death and not particularly remarkable until you realize this that is a woman singing. The drums are very good and Sharlee D'Angelo's bass is consistent with all of his other projects.

This CD opens with an instrumental opener that feeds into "Taking Back my Soul" which is a so-so track. Track 3 "Nemesis" is the first stand out track of several. The riff structure is heavy and the light interlude at around 3:00 is an excellent touch, too bad they did not extend that a bit longer. "Carry the Cross" is a solid track. Track 6 "I am Legend" has an excellent old school thrash riff to open which sadly gets lost in the middle. The instrumental "Hybrids of Steel" is well placed and shows some of the musical talent of the band. "Mechanical God Creation" is probably my top track overall on this album. This has it all, the nice riffs, a great death growl by Angela and a nice composition. You can again hear some echoes of some old METALLICA riffs and it sounds great. The last track "Slaves of Yesterday" is consistent with the rest of the album and contains a nice riff around two minutes in after a rather average start.

In summary this is well above average melodic death and came as a surprise to me.
Track Listing

1. Taking Back My Soul
2. Nemesis
3. My Apocalypse
4. Carry The Cross
5. I Am Legend / Out For Blood
6. Skeleton Dance
7. Hybrids Of Steel
8. Mechanic God Creation
9. Machtkampf
10. Slaves Of Yesterday


Angela Gossow – Vocals
Michael Amott – Guitars
Chrsitopher Amott – Guitars
Sharlee D'Angelo – Bass
Daniel Erlandsson - Drums

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