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'War Eternal'
(Century Media)
Release Date: June 9th 2014

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

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Times are changing for Swedish melodic death Metallers Arch Enemy.

They have built up a formidable worldwide following over the last nineteen years but having already lost long time guitarist Christopher Amott after last album 'Khaos Legions', most of the Metal world was surprised when in March this year their iconic singer Angela Gossow announced that she was leaving the band and her place on the new album would be taken by Canadian Alissa White-Gluz, best known for her work with The Agonist.

The split was obviously amicable as Gossow is staying on as the band's business manager but it is still an important time for the band and 'War Eternal' is a crucial album in terms of keeping their fans on side.

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Opening with a melodic instrumental the first proper track is 'Never Forgive, Never Forget' which after a quick burst of melodic guitar goes straight into full speed thrash metal mode with White-Gluz getting to scream a roar of intent then it's full speed ahead.

The immediate question most fans will ask is about the new singer, is she as good as Gossow? I have to admit that I'm a bit ambivalent about grunters or growlers, whatever you like to call singers who don't sing. For me it's a necessary evil, it suits some bands' music but there is little in the way of musical dynamics to be found. To me the blue haired Canadian sounds a little deeper and less raspy than her predecessor. I can't see any reason why you wouldn't enjoy her style if you liked Angela's.

The title track is up next and for me showcases what Arch Enemy is all about, cracking memorable riffs over a thundering rhythm section spiced up with bursts of melody from a terrific twin lead guitar attack. New guitarist Nick Cordle acquits himself well and is able keep up with founder member Michael Amott just like his brother did. There is even a singalong chorus Arch Enemy style too.

'As The Pages Burn' keeps up the frantic pace of the album so far, the production done by the band itself is excellent, everything punching at just the right weight. The pace carries on with more thrashy goodness in 'No More Regrets' which is particularly notable for the superb lead guitarwork but then just as you're thinking it's all starting to sound a little samey along comes 'I Will Know Your Name' with its' gentle start, melodic guitar hook and symphonic Metal overtones.

After another quiet music interlude 'Stolen Life' is a short song with lots of ideas in it but sounds a bit cluttered and unfocussed however things get back on track with 'Time Is Black' featuring great riffs, more symphonic metal vibes and some very unexpected xylophone.

'On And On' gallops along nicely and has another of those chant with us choruses but sounds a bit too much like what has gone before so it's good that 'Avalanche' is a little different although the symphonic Metal overtones are there again. I wonder if this is a direction the band are considering pursuing in the future? They still sound like Arch Enemy, there are just a few Epica like twists here and there.

'Down To Nothing' takes them back to traditional melodic yet thrashy mode and then the album ends with 'Not Long For This World', an instrumental which starts in almost doom Metal style before going all epic and melodic and ending with mysterious sound effects.

Anyone that was worried Arch Enemy would change in a major way with the departure of Angela Gossow can rest easy, this is clearly Arch Enemy doing what they do best and vocally there is little difference. The riffs and general guitar playing are excellent and give the band and this album the hook that everything else hangs on.

I'm impressed that there are a few new influences showing here and there and they have succeeded in both marking time to retain their fan base while throwing in a few experiments with their sound here and there.

The songwriting could be a bit stronger for me but overall this is a pretty good Arch Enemy album, not much else really needs to be said.

Line up:
Alissa White-Gluz – Vocals
Michael Amott – Lead Guitars
Nick Cordle – Lead Guitars
Sharlee D'Angelo – Bass
Daniel Erlandsson – Drums


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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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