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Arch Enemy
Will to Power
Type: CD
Company: Century Media
Release: 2017
Genre: Death
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 9/15/2017
Against the grain rebellion finely tuned by seasoned veterans
I went on an Arch Enemy kick last year and thoroughly examined their entire back catalog. As I get older I learn to appreciate bands like this more and more. Maybe it is old age and their seemingly endless work ethic on the road and in the studio that keeps me young vicariously. Regardless, I'm a fan--possibly for life--so my reviews could be a little biased. The thing is, I can't see how any fan worth his salt could scold this album's first four songs (minus the intro track). It's lyrically and musically preaching what we all value--against the grain rebellion finely tuned by seasoned veterans.

"The Race" should have been the band's opening single, a furious burner with both Michael's chops and new guitarist Jeff Loomis (who contributed solos only). Alissa's "Constricting like a heart attack, a mythomaniac on the loose in the streets" is damn near perfect. It's that line I could play for the aliens to introduce metal. "Blood in the Water" is another quick churn, devouring the listener in slab of riffs. It's a bit more accessible with the driving rhythm that's nearly traditional metal if not for the growling delivery. Energy? In droves on opening single "The World is Yours" (with a touch of keys), "Murder Scene" and "My Shadow and I". Alternatively, amidst the structured velocity is "First Day in Hell", a gloomy Hellish atmosphere coordinated with Alissa's darkest vocals and Michael's grim lyrical imagery. As if a sequel to the cut, "Dreams of Retribution" paints the same portrait lyrically while speeding it up and introducing some faster keyboard parts. Surprisingly, clean vocals appear on an Arch Enemy album with the emotive, power ballad "Reason to Believe" (perhaps a peek at Alissa's solo record).

Last month it was The Haunted, soon it will be Witchery, right now it is Arch Enemy and their month to shine. Damnit, if Sweden isn't the titans of our time. From the Stockholm Strip of hard rock talent to the mountains of power, traditional and death, the "land of the midnight sun" continues to shine. Arch Enemy continue their dominance, strengthening their arsenal of riffs with refined lyrics and an even darker awareness of the times. 'Will to Power' is exactly that.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ARCH ENEMY
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Dead Eyes See No FutureArch Enemy
2004
Axeman11/29/2004
Doomsday MachineArch Enemy
2005
Eric Compton8/13/2005
Khaos LegionsArch Enemy
2011
Greg Watson8/18/2011
Khaos LegionsArch Enemy
2011
Eric Compton7/1/2011
War EternalArch Enemy
2014
Greg Watson6/12/2014
Will to PowerArch Enemy
2017
Eric Compton9/15/2017


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: ARCH ENEMY
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
As the Stages BurnArch Enemy
2017
Eric Compton3/30/2017


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: ARCH ENEMY
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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