ARCH ENEMY - "BURNING BRIDGES" (CENTURY MEDIA)
Arch Enemy might have the odd honour of being the 42nd band that bassist Sharlee D'Angelo plays in. I don't know, and anyway it's not interesting. End of rather silly first paragraph :-)
I have to say I don't know much about the history of Arch Enemy. There are, however, two Amotts involved in the project, which leads me to think that there might be a connection with Carcass and/or ancient Napalm Death. Not that Arch Enemy's music is anything like the tracks laid down on "Burning Bridges", far from it in fact. If anything, Arch Enemy is a Swedish-influenced death metal band with hints of 'the Gothenburg sound'. The album contains eight tracks that are semi-long, full of cool riffs, with excellent vocals by Johan Liiva. The words 'Dark Tranquillity' came to mind a couple of times while I sat listening (DT around their "The Gallery" time, that is). Arch Enemy doesn't sound like something you've never heard before, but they do give their own twist to things. This makes for a familiar yet interesting album, which is all that matters really.
The only song that seems not quite to cut it for me is the title track, which rounds off the album. Even though it experiments with several classical instruments and female chanting, it attracts attention by not fitting snugly among the rest of the tracks. This means the album is really good, powerful, excellent, and a lot of other positively positive adverbs, but definitely on the short side (30 minutes if you leave out the final track, 35+ including). Four bullets would have been well within its range, but not now.
Written April 2000
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