Review ARCH ENEMY ‘Deceivers’

Somehow it feels like Alissa White-Gluz has been with Arch Enemy for ages, but exactly it’s ‘only’ eight years and two albums respectively. In the same year, former Sanctuary and Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis joined Arch Enemy. This significant line-up change carried the risk that Arch Enemy might lose some of the reputation they had built up to that point. The opposite was the case. Arch Enemy continued the success story and with ‘War Eternal’ and ‘Will to Power’ they topped everything that had existed up to that point.

The last five years, however, it was rather quiet about the band, at least as far as studio records are concerned. It’s been five years since ‘Will to Power’ came out and a lot has changed since then, not so much in terms of the band, but in terms of the whole ecosystem of the music industry with pandemic as the accelerant.

A rock in the surf, however, are Arch Enemy, which can not be impressed by those external circumstances and present with ‘Deceivers’ an album that has it all. The start is made with ‘Handshake With Hell’ a song that represents all facets of the band. Hard riffs, good melody and Alissa White-Gluz in top shape. Not only her bloodcurdling growls give the song its power. The singer uses her entire spectrum which also includes clean vocals. This creates an arc of tension that suits the song extremely well.

Furthermore ‘Eye of the Storm’ should be mentioned. Especially the powerful beginning of the song is outstanding and if the chorus would have been a little better Arch Enemy would have created a timeless classic. But anyway the track is a highlight on the album.

‘The Watcher’ follows as the next tune and is equipped with a furious pace. As if possessed by rabies, the band pounds their way through this banger. What makes ‘Deceivers’ stand out among other things are the contrasts. After ‘The Watcher’ shines with breathtaking speed, so it is the beginning of ‘Poisoned Arrow’ that comes along calmly and harmoniously.

Sharlee D’Angelo’s bass opens with ‘Sunset Over the Empire’ a next highlight on the album, a typical Arch Enemy song with harshness and melodies. Slower and heavier on the other hand is ‘Spreading Black Wings’. The five-piece reduces the tempo considerably and it is the gloomy atmosphere of the song that fascinates.

‘Morning Star’ is a melodious interlude before ‘One Last Time’ takes over. It’s a hard-hitting tune with playful twists that passes the baton on to ‘Exiled From Earth’. The closer is a typical Arch Enemy anthem which also contains twists that only reveal their relevance over time.

Fans had to wait a long time for ‘Deceivers’ and it was worth the effort. Arch Enemy pick up where they left off with their previous album, without standing still. This time it is the album in its entirety which is the hero instead of individual ‘hits’. After half a decade without new material, Arch Enemy delivers and does it with a punch.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Handshake With Hell
  2. Deceiver, Deceiver
  3. In The Eye Of The Storm
  4. The Watcher
  5. Poisoned Arrow
  6. Sunset Over The Empire
  7. House Of Mirrors
  8. Spreading Black Wings
  9. Mourning Star
  10. One Last Time
  11. Exiled From Earth

Label: Century Media

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: August 12th, 2022

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