For almost as long as I've listened to Arch Enemy's latest studio album, _Anthems of Rebellion_, the song "Dead Eyes See No Future" has been my favorite piece by the band. The fierce rhythms and drumming (one of Daniel Erlandsson's best performances, I think), the grim vocals (I still can't get over how effective Angela Gossow's voice is, knowing that it belongs to a woman!), and one of the most amazing guitar riffs I've ever heard in my entire life (in the bridge, when Michael Amott is soloing), are all only a few things that I like about that song. So when I heard it was going to be the lead track on an EP release, I of course was psyched. Granted, the EP seemed like it'd be something only hardcore Arch Enemy fans (myself included) would want to go out of their way to get, but when I received this for Christmas 2005, I had no idea that it would be this good.
After the title track, there are three live performances of "Burning Angel" (my immediate second-favorite song by Arch Enemy - and I usually don't pick favorites), "We Will Rise," and "Heart of Darkness," recorded during a Paris leg of their _Anthems_ tour. Live performances definitely seem to be the better setting for Angela. Her voice is deeper, harsher, more menacing, and not to mention she uses (or at least on these songs, had used) a lot more range in her voice. This only bodes well for the naysayers who whine about Angela not having the right voice for death metal - just wait until they release another album, and she'll no doubt be a real MONSTER!
Then there are the song covers. Starting them off is Megadeth's "Symphony of Destruction." I've been a fan of Megadeth for a few years now, and when I heard that this song was going to be covered by Arch Enemy, I nearly fainted. Like any good cover should be like, it retains much of the original song's message and overall vibe, but adds to it; Arch Enemy's guitars add a crushing brutality to the now-famous riffs created by the great Dave Mustaine. The drumming is overpowering, and of course, Angela's voice is simply scary. She follows the original song's vocal patterns well, too - this is obvious when she pronounces "Acting like a robot" as "Mrracting like a robot," just like how Mustaine did. I'm not familiar with the band Manowar, and so I can't really judge the cover of their track "Kill With Power," but nonetheless stands well as an Arch Enemy song. "Incarnated Solvent Abuse" is a cover of a song by grindcore heroes and melodeath forefathers Carcass. Because Michael Amott used to play guitar in that band, it makes the cover an interesting nostalgic tribute.
Finally, there's a video track to "We Will Rise" included in the multimedia section of the CD. Considering the cheap price, this album is far more than the average EP. I'd recommend it to anyone looking to get into Gossow-era Arch Enemy, as well as to any fan of the band. It's quite a treat.