Arch Enemy – Will to Power (Review)

Arch EnemyThis is the tenth album from Arch Enemy, a Swedish melodic death metal band; although it’s likely that this is a band that you need no real introduction to.

On Will to Power Arch Enemy sound invigorated and full of fresh life. It has the trademark Arch Enemy sound and style, of course, but enhanced and honed to a deadly point. In some ways it’s probably their most diverse album to date, although you should obviously take that within the context that it’s meant.

Mainly keeping to their melodic death metal core, the band explore a little bit further afield on this release too, happily spreading their wings here and there. As well as different speeds and levels of aggressiveness, there are also increased levels of emotive content, atmospheric delivery, and some longer songs that allow the band to let the music develop as it feels, rather than feeling the need to constrain it.

This is not to imply that the album is loose or unfocused; quite the opposite in fact. Arch Enemy seem to know exactly what they want to do with this release, but have also managed to inject a sense of developmental exploration into things, which has worked a treat. The band sound comfortable, confident, and fully in control of their collective destinies.

In some ways the guitars are very much the stars of the show on Will to Power, although that’s certainly not to minimise the impact of everything else here. Between the blazing riffs, molten melodies, and sparkling solos, there’s a lot to enjoy if you’re a fan of quality metal guitarwork.

And then of course we have their singer. Her fiery and caustic vocals are very well received. Her harsh shouts and jagged screams are as effective as they are passionate, but I must confess my real preference lies with her deeper growls; when she unleashes these they’re really quite special. Essentially almost taking her voice into brutal death metal territories, these speak of yet further hidden depths to her voice than we typically get to experience.

Yep, Arch Enemy’s vocalist is as powerful and commanding as music like this needs.

Although not perfect, with songs that are catchy and memorable, as well as each bringing something of its own to the table, this is a very strong album and a first-rate collection of tracks.

Highly recommended.

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