(8/10) Arch Enemy got in the spotlight more than wished between Christmas and New Year. I think that everything’s said about ‘Photogate’, for the good and the bad, and I will not elaborate on this during this review. This post is about something more positive. meaning a new album from the Swedish/Canadian quintet.
The idea of filling an album with cover version isn’t new. Six Feet Under excessively released these kind of albums under the banner of ‘Graveyard Classics’. What was fun in the beginning became rather annoying with the the fourth and so far final edition of this series.
Now it’s Swedish metallists Arch Enemy, picking up the idea of a cover album. I can’t tell you if this album is to bridge the wait for the next studio album or if it’s lack of new ideas, or both. Anyhow, ‘Covered in Blood’ features the enormous amount of 24 songs, securing quantity. So how about quality then?
The range of chosen tracks is rather wide and not all songs work perfectly in their new dressing. Queensryche’s ‘Walk in Shadow’ doesn’t work at all. The song’s too much connected to Geoff Tate’s vocals and what works better from a musical perspective is the opposite when it comes to growling this song. Also ‘Back to Back’ partly loses it’s fascination with this cover version and it takes a while to get used to Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking the Law’ too.
Things work very well though for some other tunes on this extensive album. It’s the more genre-related tracks that score on ‘Covered in Blood’. Four Skitslickers songs (a Swedish punk band) are like a real punch in the face and the same goes for ‘City Baby Attacked by Rats’, originally by G.B.H.. And no doubt about Carcass’ ‘Incarnated Solvent Abuse’ that got a great Arch Enemy interpretation too.
Last but not least something that really came as surprise. When I read the title of ‘Shadow on the Wall’, originally by Mike Oldfield, I didn’t expect a lot, but man, that’s how much you can be wrong. Arch Enemy’s interpretation of this Mike Oldfield classic is the best song on the album, a small hit that could help the band to get some new fans. Vocals, rhythm, guitars and the overarching vibe are excellent and can compete with the original version, just 300% heavier. Excellently done work.
To conclude, there’s some light and some shadow coming with this album. ‘Covered in Blood’ is an album that’s entertaining and comes with some well-done cover versions. Maybe a few songs less would have done a similar job while focusing on the real winners. Anyhow, nothing wrong with this album.
- Shout (Tears For Fears)
- Back to Back (Pretty Maids)
- Shadow on the Wall (Mike Oldfield)
- Breaking the Law (Judas Priest)
- Nitad (Moderate Likvidation)
- When the Innocent Die (Anti-Flag)
- Warsystem (Skitslickers)
- Armed Revolution (Skitslickers)
- Spraeckta Snutskaller (Skitslickers)
- The Leader (Of the Fuckin’ Assholes) (Skitslickers)
- City Baby Attacked By Rats (G.B.H)
- Warning (Discharge)
- The Zoo (Scorpions)
- Wings of Tomorrow (Europe)
- The Oath (Kiss)
- The Book of Heavy Metal (Dream Evil)
- Walk in the Shadows (Queensryche)
- Incarnated Solvent Abuse (Carcass)
- Kill With Power (Manowar)
- Symphony of Destruction (Megadeth)
- Aces High (Iron Maiden)
- Scream of Anger (Europe)
- Starbreaker (Judas Priest)
- The Idles of March (Iron Maiden)
Label: Century Media
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date EU: January 18th, 2019