I’ve never really had anything against Arch Enemy. Nothing I’ve ever heard from them has really struck my fancy. I know people are crazy about them but I’ve just never been thrilled by anything I’ve heard. Don’t get me wrong, they seem like a perfectly serviceable band. They have (or had) members from some incredible metal acts (Carcass, Eucharist, Kind Diamond, Candlemass) and I think Angela Gossow is a damn good front women and I won’t deny the impact she’s had on the acceptance of not just guttural women singers but women in metal as a whole. That being said, they exist and I just sort of ignore them. That is until my buddy suggested I listen to their first album. He said it’s a lot different than what they became.

And he’s right. This first album is a fucking scorcher. It tears by at barely over a half hour and is a furious combination of early Swedish death metal and the melodic Swedish death metal styles. It’s unrelenting but it also has some beautiful, Spanish style guitar interludes and some other instrumentals to help round out the sound.

I was a bit taken back by how much I enjoyed this album. It’s no masterpiece to be sure but it’s a hell of a head banger. Despite how you may or may not feel about the Arch Enemy, this one is at least worth checking out.