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Arch Enemy - Doomsday Machine

2005 Century Media :: Reviewed by Skeksis on 2005-08-14

I've read a lot of reviews praising this record and making bold statements like it's a return to the bands thrashier roots and its more vicious than 2003 "Anthems of Rebellion"; and yadda, yadda, yadda. Ok, it does present a slightly thrashier side than the previous record, and is more vicious in a sense, but only every so slightly. On the other hand, I walk away from this record feeling really pissed off. Arch Enemy has musicians of such high caliber that it's really no excuse that they released such a mediocre and half assed record. The songs are boring, mostly mid paced, and lack that spark that makes you bob your head like a moron while driving. Sure, most songs start off with some killer riffs (especially "Nemesis") and there are killer (and I do mean killer) leads here. But alas, intros and leads do not make a good song or album. What I will wager is that these songs probably sound a hell of a lot better live as they seem written for that setting. The songs are simpler and more to the point. But I digress, that's not what I expect from Arch Enemy. I expect "Black Earth" and "Wages of Sin" quality material. I expect the songs to rip the flesh from my face and all the while remaining classy because the brothers can shred. But this is just too mediocre for this band. The other thing that reeks on record is Angela Gossows vocal performance, or at least the way it was put to tape. Now before anyone gets their panties all bunched up, let me state I could never stand Johan Liiva and so preferred Angela's vocals on her debut with the band. But on "Doomsday Machine", her vocals sound way to processed and layered to be enjoyable. And lets not forget those lyrics, "all for one and one for all"??? Common, I know they can do so much better than this. But two duds in a row might be the sign of a continuing pattern. Thank the heavy metal gods the new Nevermore came out the same day as this or I would have been in one stinker of a mood the whole week. Stupid album name aside, at least the cover looks cool.