I enjoyed 2017’s Will to Power, and it grew on me further over time, so I’ve been quite looking forward to Deceivers arriving. Now that we have the album’s 45 minutes of new material, I’m quite happy with the results.
As you would expect, Deceivers contains songs that are well-written, with catchy moments and anthemic choruses aplenty. The singer’s harsh vocals are on fine form, (in fact I’d say her growls sound better than ever), and her performance is strong. This is one of Arch Enemy’s heavier albums, which I always appreciate, especially as it’s twinned with the band’s usual level of quality songwriting and delivery.
Yes, I like that Arch Enemy haven’t forsaken their heaviness, with some meaty riffs and guitar rhythms spread across the songs. The faster aspects of the band’s style are also used well in places, demonstrating the band’s ability to play hard and heavy when the mood takes them. There are plenty of melodic highs, uplifting choruses, molten solos, and stirring epic orchestrations across the album, but I also like it when the band just get down to business with a brutal display of death metal crunch.
It’s not all business as usual, as one of the developments on this new album is the greater range and variety that some of the material has, (within the general Arch Enemy framework). The most noticeable example of this is on the opening track Handshake with Hell, where Arch Enemy have taken further advantage of the singing skills of their vocalist, using her clean voice to add further emotive depth and texture. Her voice shows very ably what she’s capable of, from soft crooning to potent heavy metal power. Although not revisited as explicitly as it is on that track, small elements of this breadth appear across the album, whether it’s a brief moment of clean singing or whispered vocals, a lighter section, or an orchestral enhancement. Of the latter, the orchestral/keyboard/synth parts of this album stand out as particularly enjoyable to me.
Ultimately Deceivers is Arch Enemy delivering the Arch Enemy template so many people know and love, only with a bit of a heavier twist, (in places), and with some more creative ideas explored, (in places). If you’re unconvinced by Arch Enemy at this point, I doubt Deceivers will do too much to convince you otherwise. However, if, like me, you enjoy a slab of accomplished, professional, well-written melodic death metal, then Deceivers is very a satisfying and enjoyable release.
For fans of the style, Deceivers is easy to recommend. Don’t miss out.