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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwork Continued..., 17 Dec 2001
By 
Mr. A. Clement "alzmail" (Milton Keynes/UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stigmata (Audio CD)
Anyone out there who has Heartwork by Carcass & loved it should buy this RIGHT NOW!!!!!Mr Amott has got together with his brother & come up with a scorcher of an album.This has a fat production & the guitars are down tuned to B!!The vocals are a strong grough & compliment the heaviness of the music.The album kicks off with Beast of Man, pounding drums & heavy guitar riffing then the most amazing guitar solo which lets you know what a rollercoaster ride you are in for over the next 46:26mins.What blows me away about this album is there are sheer intense moments of heaviness then it changes to amazing melodies & the most awesome melodic guitar solos.If u dont like solos then this is not for you but if you are a budding guitarist then this is simply mouthwatering stuff. This is the 2nd of 5 albums to date & of course Mr Amott also has Spiritual Beggars (which is more stoner music)to tour with,but if you are interested in Arch Enemy this IS the album to buy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good golly miss molly!, 16 July 2011
By 
Hedon (Eternal Night) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stigmata (Audio CD)
You know, I've had this album for what seems like an eternity now, and sure i've listened to and enjoyed it before, but i never really 'listened' to it until recently. and holy guacamole! why the hell have i not been playing this at least once a week since i got it? Obviously, I've got a few missing synapses that connect my brain to awesome.

Burning Bridges has always been my Arch Enemy album of choice, and as such I guess i must have never really given myself the time to full appreciate Stigmata, which is a darn shame. As many of you will know, Stigmata is the first proper album by Arch Enemy as a band (debut Black Earth was, according to the internet, wholly written by Michael Ammot for the purposes of cashing in his Carcass fame in Japan), and, as one would expect, the collaborative efforts of three highly skilled musicians over one takes Arch Enemy's a considerable leap forward from the enjoyable but amaturish Black Earth. Musically, it is basically a continuation of Carcass's seminal Heartwork, but with the Ammott brothers putting their own spin on things and exploring a few other directions, most notibly by augmenting the vicious death metal elements with classic metal/prog/rock melodies that have their origins in the hazy, drug-laden glory days of Rainbow, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. The guitar playing, more specifically the chemistry between the Ammott boys, is sublime, as they trade bone-crushing riffs and break neck thrashing (The Beast of Man, Sinister Mephisto in particular) of each other with magestic leads, wonderful, almost Brian May-esque harmonies and some truelly stunning instrumental breaks (check out Let the Killing Begin at the 4 minute mark). And of course, would this really be a Michael Ammott album without some of the best guitar solos you're likely to hear in metal? Peter Wildoer does a pretty slick job on the drums, mixing up traditional death metal styles with more maintstream rock beats, while sadly Martin Bengtsson's base is almost unheard throughout. Overall, their stunning quality to mix the Carcass-ish death metal with 70s/80s classic melodies without compromising the aggressive bite of the album is something that still stuns me today, an approach that has often been imitated but rarely bettered. If you don't believe me, check out the 7 minute masterpiece that is Bridge of Destiny. The song stradles about 7 different genres (everything from Carcass to Queen) and constantly switches gears between fast and slow, yet somehow manages to stay memorable and catchy. Genius

Now, there is one thing that will get some peoples goat about Stigmata - Johan Liiva. Liiva has a sort of half growl/half shout thats somewhere between Tom Araya and John Tardy, and although he doesn't have the most extreme voice in the world, i think he suits the music well in that A) he conveys a lot of emotion into his performace and B) Arch Enemy aren't the heaviest band in the planet and therefore don't need the most devestating lungs on the planet. I think his voice works in the way Covan worked for Decapitated. Still, a lot of people don't like his voice... but i'd take it over the banal screams of Angela Gross-ow any day of the week.

Stigmata is, in the eyes of yours truly, a stunning stab of melodic death metal. It might not be as slick or defined as Burning Bridges, but it has a bit of a grittier, more meaty, more earthy feel that i seriously dig, and as such, I can't really decide which is better. Both rule and both are some of my favourite albums ever. I haven't been able to really get into anything new-era Arch Enemy with Gossow, so while I'd say Stigmata is much better then their newer albums this might just be my personal prejudice. Still, what I've heard about their latest opus, Kaos Legions, fans of the band may be better off devling into the past then looking to the future...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Widdly, 29 Jan 2010
By 
D. L. Wilkinson "Dean" (London,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stigmata (Audio CD)
This is my first arch enemy album.Yes it's a bit like heartwork era carcass which is no a bad thing at all.I personally have been getting tired of being battered over the head by death metal.It's all fine and dandy being battered but it does get tiresome and boring eventually so some melody and widdling is welcome.Having said that it still feels like being battered with arch enemy just not as constantly.It's more brutal than in flames or dark tranquility but just as melodic.I want to get some of the albums with Angela singing next.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stigmata, 15 Jun 2006
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Stigmata (Audio CD)
Arch Enemy's 2d album broadly follows the same mid-pace death metal path as their debut `Black Earth', though the production is better and the musicianship a little tighter this time round. One slight downside is the increasing number of trad metal guitar breaks, with instrumental `Vox Stellarum' sailing dangerously close to clichéd `lighters in the air' metal balladry, but for the most part this is still good solid death metal shredding. Good stuff.
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