Arch Enemy - The Root of All Evil


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More an intermediary release than a new album, The Root of All Evil is a collection of re-recordings of songs from the first three Arch Enemy albums when Swedish singer Johan Liiva fronted the band. The original albums are recent enough that there isn't much in terms of the sound or production which could be upgraded, although their tone and sound has changed slightly. And therein lies the focus on this album. The sound of Arch Enemy has changed somewhat since the John Liiva fronted period, adopting a much more 'Stockholm melodic death' sound with the addition of Angela Gossow. Doing the basically instrumental Demoniality from Black Earth seems unnecessary, but otherwise the usual suspects that are regularly part of the current live set are included, with four (including Demoniality) taken from Black Earth, three from Stigmata, including bonus track Diva Satanica, and the first five from Burning Bridges, plus a new (and entirely pointless) intro. To some The Root of All Evil will offer absolutely nothing. To others it will offer everything. Arch Enemy fans tend to be divided on whether or not the addition of Gossow has improved the band or not, and there are a certain number who feel who vocals do not do Liiva's songs justice at all, even if the same fans do like her voice on the songs written with her in the band. This group will hate this album and should not buy it except to support the band, but the ones who like Gossow singing the old songs (and in some cases only like her singing them) should buy it immediately as everything is up to the usual Arch Enemy standard here.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2009, Albums, Death Metal, Quick.Play Reviews,

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