Arch Enemy unleash Deceivers; the bands’ latest…their 11th… long player. Could this be a career high for the heavy metal outfit?
Release Date: 12th August 2022
Label: Century Media
Format: CD / Vinyl / Digital
Heavy metal fans are being treated to some special releases this year. We’ve already had a huge record from Amon Amarth, and Soulfly have unleashed their twelfth full length album. There are releases due from Megadeth and Machine Head. All show that perennial veterans still have the fiercest of fires burning. Next up are Arch Enemy; another band of veterans that need no introduction.
Formed in 1995 as a supergroup by Michael Arnott (ex-Carcass), Arch Enemy have mutated into one of the premier purveyors of melody ridden heavy metal. Through ten albums and several line up changes, they have endured and grown immeasurably. Now fronted by the brilliant Alissa White-Gluz (who we last saw guesting on Charlotte Wessels Six Feet Under LP), Deceivers does anything but deceive. This is a truly brilliant heavy metal record with a wide range of styles and influences that will satisfy a wide range of metalheads around the world, and sees the band flourishing further.
Handshake With Hell opens the album with a swirling wind and a flurry of guitars. The groove is found quickly and shrieking fretboard work gives way to the now signature sound of White-Gluz. Shifting from guttural screams and growls to cleanly sung vocals, she lays down the marker, once again, with what it means to be a heavy metal vocalist. The vocal range and emotion that is packed within the very first track is spellbinding. Cut that with breakneck guitars, thundering drums and soaring solos, and you have a stupendous recipe for success.
Deceivers, Deceivers, was one of the lead singles for the album, and like its predecessor, does not relent; the drumming of Daniel Erlandsson is particularly sublime in the opening salvo of the track. In The Eye Of The Storm has an opening full of grandeur as it marches fervently erupting in a cacophony of glorious power chords. Twin guitars entwine in solo work before more hiking drum patterns; it begs a crowd baying in union behind it.
The Watcher is relentless and contains some of the darkest vocal stylings; this is hard and heavy. In the introduction, I guess you could say you are deceived (just a little). A harmonious introduction sets up what you think will be a longer section but the track swings straight into your ears. The guitar melodies offer light but this is a song for under the stormiest of clouds. A seamless segue into Poisoned Arrow follows; an orchestral opening and delicate guitars adorn the beginning before a slower an epic slower paced piece flows beautifully. Again, this is going to be another huge song in the live arena. Another of the mid tempo pieces, Spreading Black Wings also offers another level of diversity within the Arch Enemy canon.
Mourning Star takes the tempo down further. An instrumental interlude, the piece is another beautiful composition. It is a brilliantly placed piece within the album to give respite from the fury that Arch Enemy offer.
Sharlee D’Angelo rattles Sunset Over The Empire into action with his bass. A Run To The Hills like drum beat helps drive the song before the thrash timbre is restored. More humungous riffs and dulled choral flourishes make for an uncomfortable atmosphere. The most furious of solos splits the track with frenzied notes flying around from Michael Arnott and Jeff Loomis. One Last Time sees the band in epic mode again. It swishes and sways offering prime chance to wreck your neck. Brooding spoken word and climbing guitars both make appearances in the mix. There is definitely a lighter outlook in some of the motifs here.
Exiled From Earth closes out the album to end another milestone in the career of Arch Enemy. Deceivers will undoubtedly add more staples to the bands live repertoire and fans old and new will relish hearing these songs live. This is a band that might well be in the form of their lives.
Check out the video for Deceiver, Deceiver from Arch Enemy below.