Arch Enemy: “Deceivers” (Album Review)

This morning, I was just thinking of the juxtaposition of the women in my life who scream at me. I absolutely hate it when my wife does it, but if I’m honest, I often deserve it- I leave my dirty socks on the floor or forget to take out the trash. However, when heavy metal is accompanying the screams of Alissa White-Gluz, I can’t get enough of the screams. The irony! The legendary metal band, Arch Enemy (Alissa White-Gluz – Vocals, Michael Amott – Guitars, Jeff Loomis – Guitars, Sharlee D’Angelo – Bass, Daniel Erlandsson – Drums) will be releasing their eleventh studio album, “Deceivers” on August 12th through Century Media Records.

If you’re an avid metal fan, you’ve probably seen the official music videos for the five singles that have already been released off of this record. The first single, “Deceiver, Deceiver,” made its debut just before Halloween last fall. Fans loved it and the video has amassed nearly six million views on YouTube thus far! “House of Mirrors” made its appearance before the year’s end, and both “Handshake With Hell” and “Sunset Over the Empire” came out this last spring. The band’s latest single, “In The Eye Of The Storm,” is just another example of the band’s ability to write the highest quality metal. The riffs are tantalizing, the solos are impressive, and the vocals are as brutal as ever.

Based on the five singles released, you can probably get an idea of what the rest of the album sounds like, but I’d like to share my thoughts on the remaining tracks to pique your interest. “The Watcher” is a killer song with pulsating drums and fast-paced guitar. It always impresses me how the band can write such dark music while still keeping an uplifting element to it all.  “Poisoned Arrow” is definitely one of my favorite tracks. It starts out very soft with a light string accompaniment and guitar picking but soon picks up and hits like the dagger its name implies. Two-thirds of the way through the song, things get quiet again as the guitar picking repeats, and again there is a build-up to where the song becomes a huge anthemic masterpiece.

The last four of the album’s tracks are noteworthy as well. “Spreading Black Wings” might remind you of the band’s earliest songs like “Eureka” or “Demoniality” so this sludgy doom track is sure to please the oldest fans. The short instrumental track, “Mourning Star,” is a perfect transition to the onslaught of “One Last Time.” This song is riff-heavy and never lets up. When I first heard the last track on the album, “Exiled From Earth,” it blew me away. It is one of my favorite Arch Enemy songs of all time. The song’s time signature is much different from the standard 4/4 and as Alissa shrieks “exiled from earth!!” it sounds like a mix between the sweet wails of the mythical sirens and the agony of a dying beast. It’s amazing. Due mostly to nostalgia, some of the band’s earlier albums will forever be my favorites, but “Deceivers” is without a doubt the band’s best work in the last decade.