Saturday, August 19, 2006

Arch Enemy - Wages of Sin

If you like Iron Maiden, In Flames, Megadeth, Slayer, and Shadows Fall, you'll love:

Arch Enemy - Wages of Sin

Back in 2001, MTV had Headbangers Ball on every night. OK, take a deep breath and re-read that last sentence. Yeah, I'm serious, they had it on every single night! Only it wasn't called that. The name escapes me but around 2AM - 4AM every weekday morning on MTV2 from about 2000 - 2003 they would show heavy metal and hard rock videos from bands you and I may have never heard of, or of artists we knew and love. In fact, I recorded the first time Lamb of God ever had "Black Label" played on TV. I bring this up because back then (I was about 16 or 17 when I saw the video) I saw a woman who looked amazing and had the single most demonic voice I had ever heard, a voice I did not think was possible for a woman. I remember all the fog and the chains and the strobe lights they used. Angela looked incredibly hot in it too, not bad for someone only 25 at the time. That video was "Ravenous".

Fast foward to 5 years later and I finally got my hands on Rages of Sin. Immediately after putting it on, a feeling came over me that is incredibly rare for anything to do. It was the same feeling I got the first time I heard Iron Maiden - Powerslave, the feeling I got when I heard Testament - The New Order. It was the feeling that I was listening to what is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest metal albums ever made.

God, how many times have I said that? Seven times at least, right? But let's consider this; This is the type of praise I reserve for bands and artists who absolutely fucking deserve it. It is incredibly rare that an album, especially something recorded in the last 5 years, has that type of feeling on me, and it is my duty to let you know why.

I... I can't begin. I can't begin to tell you why you need to go out there and buy this album. It's just common-god-damn-sense!

Although this album belongs in "Melodic Death Metal", I think that's a bit of a mistake. The album has riffs that sound more like melodic thrash metal to me, but that's most likely because of the fact that that's the sound of metal now and this is the album that I think can be traced to, and consider to be, one of THE defining moments and albums of the metalcore movement. I must stress that I know how much of a defamation that term can be to some, but this album could be considered the major point in which it became more acceptable for that sound to be the norm.

Angela added something to Arch Enemy that would have left the band in obscurity, and that is sheer attituide. That... and she's a woman. There are so few women in metal, and most of the time when they are added, it's only as eye candy or because someone is fucking someone else in the band. But Angela actually proves she has a reason to be in the band, and she has a voice that I dare say can rival Randy Blythe's of Lamb of God as the official voice of Hell! Add to that the sonic ferocity of the guitarist brothers Amott and you have the three reasons why this album hails as a favorite of mine!

"Enemy Within", "Ravenous", "Burning Angel", "Web of Lies", and "Behind the Smile" all stand out as outstanding tracks, and there is not a single bad track on this album!

Disc 2, which is just a collection of rare and unreleased tracks, is just OK and I'm not taking it into consideration of the overall album.

This a 4.7 out of 5! Brilliant album!


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