Arch Enemy
Khaos Legions

1. Khaos Overture (intro)
2. Yesterday Is Dead And Gone
3. Bloodstained Cross
4. Under Black Flags We March
5. No Gods, No Masters
6. City Of The Dead
7. Through The Eyes Of A Raven
8. Cruelty Without Beauty
9. We Are A Godless Entity (Instrumental)
10. Cult Of Chaos
11. Thorns In My Flesh
12. Turn To Dust (Instrumental)
13. Vengeance Is Mine
14. Secrets

Angela Gossow – Vocals
Michael Amott – Lead Guitars
Christopher Amott – Lead Guitars
Sharlee D'Angelo – Bass
Daniel Erlandsson – Drums

Black Earth (1996)
Stigmata (1998)
Burning Bridges (1999)
Wages Of Sin (2002)
Anthems Of Rebellion (2003)
Dead Eyes See No Future MCD (2004)
Doomsday Machine (2005)
Live Apocalypse 2DVD (2006)
Rise Of The Tyrant (2007)
Tyrants Of The Rising Sun – Live (2008)
The Root Of All Evil (2009)


Produced by Rickard Bengtsson and ARCH ENEMY
Mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap
Front cover by Brent Elliott White
Booklet Layout by Niklas Sundin

Released 30/5-2011
Reviewed 24/5-2011

century media

“I think we took a ‘more is more’ approach to this record.” says Mike Amott about Khaos Legions, the new effort by Arch Enemy and the first freshly written material by the band in four years. More is more is something that seem to take a stance for the opposite of what I think, I am an avid preacher of the ‘less is more’ philosophy. “We went all over the place with this album. Take it or leave it.” says vocalist Angels Gossow about the album, that is something that would bode a lot better as it hints towards a ‘ I don’t give a shit about what you think’-approach which is something I have always applauded and something I also live by when I write about whatever I write about.

What the quotes would seem to indicate is that Arch Enemy has been moving into an even more diverse direction with their music, and that is something I subscribe to. This album is much more layered than what has been before, it is still easily recognisable as Arch Enemy but it is more than what was before. They have a deeper depth, more melodies, more atmosphere and there have even snuck in some progressive tunes into the mix of things. It is still the same music rooted in the death metal, the melodic side of things of course. The thing that has changed mostly since, say the debut fifteen years ago besides the appearance of the bandmembers, is the lovely passages they have thrown into many of the songs on this album, they are so ultra-melodic that it is easy to forget the Angela still has that same demonic and ultra-evil voice. I think her voice though is sort of a secondary element to the melodies that I think play a much bigger part here and this adds a new depth that we have not heard before from Arch Enemy.

The production is excellent, no other word for it. It brings out the melodies, the brutality and the heaviness all in a perfect balancing act that can quite easily be seen as almost impossible (unless you were from france). There are fourteen tracks on the album, a few are instrumental and they all have a total playing time of close to fifty five minutes which can be seen as being a tad on the long side.

I do think this album is brilliant, I have no other word for it to be honest. Track three Bloodstained Cross is fantastic, what melody, what energy, it has everything and the same can be said for track five No Gods, No Masters, amazing. The songs that have these really super melodic parts and passages is the ones I really enjoy thoroughly, like Cruelty Without Beauty, starts in a great way and has this wonderful horror film homage in the chorus, you know those violins, amazing. Other tracks worthy of a mention is Cult Of Chaos, Thorns in My Flesh and the ending track Secret (which has this wonderful modern prog rock ending) are all having this very melodic feel to them, it is just amazing how melodic death metal can become in the hands of the right people.

Another thing that is amazing is how Angela, that tiny little blonde female, can sing the way she does. I believe she is the most brutal vocalist out there, most death metal singers sound pathetic and ridiculous but Angela really sound as brutal as you would expect a death metal vocalist to be. I think that is quite fantastic that she can muster such a vocal assault even though I do not necessarily hold her as one of the things I like best with Arch Enemy, she is a nice person to speak to though.

There is one thing that bothers me just a little with this album and that is the almost 55 minutes playing time it has. Even though they do make good music, very good or even fantastic music I think it is a little much, they should have tried to cut it to below 50 minutes as that would have felt ideal. But as I said, it is not really a big problem as the music generally keep me occupied anyway, so it is almost mainly that long albums steels time from other albums to review. But there are just one or two tracks that I have not mentioned that is a little less good than the rest of the album.

In the end though there is really not much else for me to do than tip my hat to the band. Khaos Legions has most of what you can wish for in an album. I am not generally that generous with the ratings but if there is a second band that deserves a rating of six this year, it is Arch Enemy for this album. As far as I am concerned it is the best album by the band this far, it is such a step up from what else they have done and I have always liked the band and always thought they were one of the greatest in the genre and also the band that actually got me into listening to the more extreme music even though I am still no fan I have heard some really good bands and Arch Enemy is clearly one of the best.

Khaos Legions is just this impressive album, a soundscape so diverse and so fantastic. With such depth and hypnotic melodies, Arch Enemy have me really captivated from start to finish, maybe with just a short lapse or two. I am impressed, that’s for sure.

Khaos Legions - Wow!


Label - Century Media
Three similar bands - Mercyful Fate/Armageddon/Eucharist
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm