Top critical review
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I'm a fan and I love Arch Enemy, but...
on 16 June 2011
... this isn't my favorite album.
The songs are good, but altogether a bit too typical and all in the same vein. Also, fewer stay in your head after listening. I've listened to it a couple of times by now and it does not keep getting better, instead I find myself more drawn to some of their previous recordings.
I am also a bit disappointed by the guitar sounds - after all the Amott brother are one of the main assets of Arch Enemy. This one is a bit dry and lack character. It also has some rather weird, almost easy-listening moments.
My other gripe is the instrumentals. They are short and tasty, but also... unnecessary. You find yourself drawn to the forward button instead of listening through another lifeless, somewhat boring instrumental. This applies to the intro as well. Strangely, I didn't find this the case with the previous instrumentals Arch Enemy have done, or the intro on "Domesday".
If you are new to Arch Enemy I would recommend you to rather go for "Rise of the Tyrant" (melodic and heavy) or "Anthems of Rebellion" (very heavy and more diverse).
All in all it's a good record and fans will enjoy it, it is a quality recording, but it also lacks that genius, that extra special touch Arch Enemy have shown in previous records.