Will To Power - Arch Enemy
Artist: Arch Enemy
Album: Will To Power
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: 8 September 2017
Label: Century Media
Review by Tomina Vincent
Arch Enemy have always stuck to what they love, and it has paid off. This is a band with an enormous legacy behind them, a band that overcame the loss of their front woman and then became, in my opinion, even better. Their latest album is a celebration of their legacy, and a nod towards experimentation and a more adventurous sound.
Will To Power is a tremendous undertaking. From the opening track 'Set Flame To The Night' we are blasted with mighty grooves and vocals that I think are unsurpassed in the genre. The ferociousness of Alissa White-Gluz's performance is overwhelmingly powerful and insanely impressive. I quietly wish that more women would try singing in this style, and I quietly acknowledge that this woman is an absolute master and probably one in a million. Let's just say Alissa could embarrass many dudes if you put them beside her.
Throughout the album we hear many influences from classic metal acts. 'The Race' reminds me of 'Endorama' era Kreator, 'The World Is Yours' has an almost Judas Priest vibe to it, with a hugely surprising melodic chorus that can easily belong to any power metal band of your choosing. I'm not sue how die hard fans would react to this, but I think its super fun and it works.
'Reason to Believe' is the first ballad on the album, and introduces some clean singing. The soulful delivery is near perfect, and I'm excited to hear Arch Enemy use this more. It broadens their sound and makes for a great change in dynamics. I'm hearing a distinct Alice Cooper and King Diamond influence, and I'm loving every second of it.
'Murder Scene' is a straight up sonic carnage, and the guitar work is excellent. Yet another nod to the greats, of which Arch Enemy are one. 'First Day In Hell' is a banger, followed by a somewhat confusing and seemingly unfinished interlude 'Saturnine'. I have no idea why this is here, but let's move on.
'Dreams of Retribution' is the elephant in the room - an epic journey at nearly 7 minutes of sonic bliss. My absolute favourite on the record - it has a progressive edge and a distinct power metal influence, big melodies and a slight corniness I absolutely love. 'My Shadow And I' is brutal and deliciously groovy, and the closer 'A Fight I Must Win' is a refreshing take on heavy metal grandeur, with soaring melodies and riffs I'm still struggling to get out of my head.
In conclusion, this is Arch Enemy like you've never heard them before. There is so much more going on than on previous albums and this body of work is nothing short of a masterpiece. This is a confident and ambitious release that is sure to make any metal fan happy, whether they listen to Maiden or Slayer. The vocal delivery is outstanding and I cannot wait to hear more.
9 out of 10 stars.
Will To Power is out worldwide September 8th via Century Media Records.