Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions

by Tony
Published on: May 1, 2011
Categories: Reviews
Comments: No Comments

Arch Enemy has been a seminal band in the death metal genre with a ravid fanbase for quite a few years, so their latest album Khaos Legions has a lot of hype to live up to. Does it lie up to the hype? Let’s find out.

The album opens with the band flexing their guitar muscle a bit in the instrumental track “Khaos Overture”. Then the listener is thrown headfirst into the brutal melodic death metal with “Yesterday is Dead and Gone.” Tracks like this one and most others do a great job of balancing thrashier influences on the band and blending them with slightly more melodic aspects.

Much of the rest of the album is the same by varying degrees, with some tracks being much heavier than others (“Bloodstained Cross”, “Thorns In My Flesh”). Especially for fans of the genre, one can’t help feel a bit familiar with the songs and most of their aspects, as it certainly gives off a feel similar to In Flames in their heyday.

Despite this, the album isn’t completely without it’s attempts to innovate. “Through the Eyes of a Raven” has a very emotive acoustic ending, and “Cruelty Without Beauty” makes interesting use of harmony between guitars during it’s solo, and even uses a bit of dueling guitars. “Turn to Dust” makes for a surprising instrumental interlude with very clean-sounding guitars and almost sounds like it’ll be a ballad, but suddenly leads into the next track. Despite these slight attempts to innovate, it does feel like more could’ve been done to keep things a little fresher.

Production-wise the album has a very rough sound to it but is somehow not unpolished, so everything sounds very tight and focused, yet also quite intense as the band is known for.

Even if it doesn’t exactly contribute anything new to the scene, Khaos Legions is a solid effort for fans of the genre. Just don’t expect this one to win over any new fans.

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