Khaos Legions review by Arch Enemy

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: May 18, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (51 votes)
Arch Enemy: Khaos Legions
1

Sound — 8
Archy Enemy has often been likened to an acquired taste. The band's strictly non-commercial musical approach, although arguably supplanted by Angela Gossow's appeal, is quite admirable in the knowledge that there is so much untapped marketing potential to the band. Khaos Legions sticks to Arch Enemy's ethos, while the band's thrash metal influences come to the fore. New material has been a long time coming, but Arch Enemy fans won't be disappointing with what is another mark of Arch Enemy's consistency; the band's real strength is the drama to the song writing. "Khaos Overture" - the introductory track - is a dramatic minute and a half including tasteful guitars, well-worked drumming, and the best use of sirens in a song for a long while. The next song - "Yesterday Is Dead And Gone" - has an introduction similar to that of "Beast And The Harlot" (Avenged Sevenfold), while the next couple of tracks maybe lose a bit of drive "Under Black Flags We March" being a low point of the album. The middle of the album doesn't seem to have the ferocity associated with Arch Enemy, but that is redeemed by songs like "Through The Eyes Of A Raven" and "Cruelty Without Beauty" the latter of which is a highlight of the album for its well worked intro and dramatic overtones. The guitar riffs are terrific, and Gossow's vocals enter the fray at just the right time, before the song reaches its artistic high point in terms of instrumentation. Let's just say the song doesn't fizzle out. "Cult Of Chaos" produces the next highlight of the album by proving Arch Enemy's versatility. The band sometimes seems to lack focus when playing more melodically, but this track's combination of monstrous death metal with gripping melodies is a triumph. Meanwhile the Amott brothers' guitar tones are to die for. Songs as diverse and magnificently structured as "Thorns In My Flesh" and "Secrets" deserve plaudits from critics and fans of the band alike. This album's awesome sound and tasteful (reducing the volume in favour of character) production values are there for all to witness.

Lyrics — 7
The main criticism of Arch Enemy is often the band's reliance on Gossow to attract listeners, but at the same time, Gossow's vocals can be heard to be somewhat one-dimensional. She doesn't have the variety to her screams that others in the death metal genre boast. Indeed, the placement of the instrumental track - "We Are A Godless Entity" - serves as a welcome break at the right time. That's not to detract from Gossow's overall performance. Arch Enemy's classification as Melodic Death Metal is, unlike some other notable claims to the "melodic" tag, well-deserved. If Gossow were to seriously alter her vocal arsenal the band's dignity may never be recovered.

Overall Impression — 8
Archy Enemy's insistence on slowing things down makes "Khaos Legions" a memorable album, and much of that is due to rhyme to the Amott brothers' madness. There is a creative element to Arch Enemy that renders the band both success and failure. It is pity that this type of music will never reach the masses, because Arch Enemy is a musical force to be reckoned with. This is an album for fans of music, and if Gossow's vocals aren't for you, at least (legally) download the instrumentals.

41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    EpiExplorer
    Nugma wrote: Arch Enemy doesn't rely on Gossow for attention, that's a ridiculous statement.
    They do. Then they'd have to fall back in Michael Amott being the lead guitarist if the gimmick failed. Every time I hear a new Arch Enemy album, its just another bastardisation of Heartwork with less oomph and more soppy romantic moments. Thats my blunt long and short.
    captain_wow
    I Agree somewhat about how Angela Lacks something in her screams, But i think that whatever it is that she lacks, it is more then made up from Michael and Chris Ammott with theyre Solos! Great album
    vIsIbleNoIsE
    i don't understand how the fact that angela is a girl pokes its way into so many discussions about this band. when i listen to arch enemy the last thing i'm thinking about is females.
    mtllica
    I like this album, I really do. But when I put it in my CD player I thought to myself, "Yup, this definitely sounds like Arch Enemy." So while I really enjoy the album, it doesn't do anything different than they have done in the past.
    WyldeKnotHead
    I literally just started getting into their music last week. I ****in love what I have heard so far and now because of this review I cant wait to hear their new album
    victim42
    Nugma wrote: Arch Enemy doesn't rely on Gossow for attention, that's a ridiculous statement.
    Its statuses like this, for which UG desperately needs LIKE button. Just ignore the HeartworkPlusRomanceGuy.
    godzilla2damax
    EpiExplorer wrote: Nugma wrote: Arch Enemy doesn't rely on Gossow for attention, that's a ridiculous statement. They do. Then they'd have to fall back in Michael Amott being the lead guitarist if the gimmick failed. Every time I hear a new Arch Enemy album, its just another bastardisation of Heartwork with less oomph and more soppy romantic moments. Thats my blunt long and short.
    even though i love heartwork michael was half responsible for that album so he deserves to take part of that sound with him
    Chozodragon
    Disappointed to see that the review did not mention no gods, no masters, which was quite a shock to me - midtempo + pop clean guitars in the verses, Amaranth-like riffs in the chorus ... WTF Arch Enemy ?
    bcrich1234bc
    Downfault wrote: I don't know if I'm thinking of the same thing as EpiExplorer, but there does seem to be the habit for AE to put a song about 3 or 4 tracks in, on every album, which is like a "march with us and be triumphant" sort of thing. It's like they're making a conscious point of having an anthem on every record. Early on, there weren't that many of them, so I didn't roll my eyes as much when listening to them. If anything they do is gimmicky, to me that's I can totally see what mean. It seems ever since "We Will Rise" was released, the band has been trying to recreate songs that follow that similar structure and lyrical style but it just isn't the same. It really does get boring and I believe it honestly has to do with Angela's writing direction with the lyrics. I also do think this band is absolutely great ut you can't argue that having a female death metal singer draws in a majority of the appeal for their music. I also think Angela is an amazing singer but she is very one dimensional and it is getting a little bland lately. I think that the band shouldn't be so afraid to try and mix things up and instead of trying to follow a formula for success, they should just try and make music that they really like.
    As far as lyrics i don't see much importance on lyrical themes. If the music is good i could care less what the lyrics are. With that said, doing something different will get them called sellouts, why at the same time staying consistent will render people that complain of that same consistency. They write music that they like, and they do a great job at it.
    bcrich1234bc
    ChucklesMginty wrote: Please don't mention Avenged Sevenfold in an Arch Enemy review.
    +1,000,000
    DesolationJD
    Chozodragon wrote: Disappointed to see that the review did not mention no gods, no masters, which was quite a shock to me - midtempo + pop clean guitars in the verses, Amaranth-like riffs in the chorus ... WTF Arch Enemy ?
    Haha i know ehh Just listening to it right now, and am like 'where the hell are their epic riffs?' But it's a nice change
    Linkerman
    Arch Enemy always makes awesome music, and this album did not disappoint me. My favourite 2011 metal album so far.
    IgnoreThis
    Never reach the masses? Really? They're far bigger than their genre usually permits, even in the UK! Nonetheless, I like what I've heard of the album, should probably give it a real listen.
    Lion_Slicer
    Yeah they're one of the most popular death metal bands, almost up there with Amon Amarth. They're in Guitar hero, for Chrissakes! Good album from what I've heard, probably worth buying. Angela has one of the straight-up best voices for death metal (and no, not just "for a girl") but I agree that she could use some diversity.
    Cam'sGuitarSolo
    I think I might just buy this album, Arch Enemy Is one of the most Respected Death MEtal Bands out their today. And if they made this album another great Musical Mayhem, Will they ever be stopped?
    Downfault
    I don't know if I'm thinking of the same thing as EpiExplorer, but there does seem to be the habit for AE to put a song about 3 or 4 tracks in, on every album, which is like a "march with us and be triumphant" sort of thing. It's like they're making a conscious point of having an anthem on every record. Early on, there weren't that many of them, so I didn't roll my eyes as much when listening to them. If anything they do is gimmicky, to me that's I can totally see what mean. It seems ever since "We Will Rise" was released, the band has been trying to recreate songs that follow that similar structure and lyrical style but it just isn't the same. It really does get boring and I believe it honestly has to do with Angela's writing direction with the lyrics. I also do think this band is absolutely great ut you can't argue that having a female death metal singer draws in a majority of the appeal for their music. I also think Angela is an amazing singer but she is very one dimensional and it is getting a little bland lately. I think that the band shouldn't be so afraid to try and mix things up and instead of trying to follow a formula for success, they should just try and make music that they really like.
    Mainer
    ehh, really not an Arch Enemy fan. I dunno, Nemesis is a good song, and Angela Gossow is hot lmao
    K!!LsWiTcH
    i heard the song that was leaked first forget the name sounded pretty average. and arch enemy is not only one of if not the biggest death metal band, but their sound is also a hyper produced sound, not just for death metal, but for metal in general
    guitarist41
    No doubt one of the best Metal bands around. Heaps of talent. Heavy as **** while remaining musical.
    BGmetal
    Yep. Been looking forward to this for a long time. Decent review too. But what makes "Under Black Flags We March" a 'low point'?
    guitaristren
    It's a decent album, not mind blowing though. I feel that it focuses more on melodic sections than fast, aggressive riffing. The melodies and solos, like always, possess the signature Arch Enemy sound. This album deserves a seven and a half, in my opinion.
    Tapping_Ninja
    EpiExplorer wrote: Nugma wrote: Arch Enemy doesn't rely on Gossow for attention, that's a ridiculous statement. They do. Then they'd have to fall back in Michael Amott being the lead guitarist if the gimmick failed. Every time I hear a new Arch Enemy album, its just another bastardisation of Heartwork with less oomph and more soppy romantic moments. Thats my blunt long and short.
    You are kidding right? Please I would love to hear your examples of any of their songs sounds like anything off of Heartwork or the soppy romantic moments
    zalant
    I don't know if I'm thinking of the same thing as EpiExplorer, but there does seem to be the habit for AE to put a song about 3 or 4 tracks in, on every album, which is like a "march with us and be triumphant" sort of thing. It's like they're making a conscious point of having an anthem on every record. Early on, there weren't that many of them, so I didn't roll my eyes as much when listening to them. If anything they do is gimmicky, to me that's it. That aside, AE has been putting out a quality product for quite a while now, so anything they do will get at least a listen from me, if not some $, too.
    Loki_37
    EpiExplorer wrote: Nugma wrote: Arch Enemy doesn't rely on Gossow for attention, that's a ridiculous statement. They do. Then they'd have to fall back in Michael Amott being the lead guitarist if the gimmick failed. Every time I hear a new Arch Enemy album, its just another bastardisation of Heartwork with less oomph and more soppy romantic moments. Thats my blunt long and short.
    For a second I almost screamed when there was no EpiHate. Then I saw this post. *Relieved* Don't take it too personally guys, he's voicing an opinion lots of people have. I don't really like where these guys have ended up. But I may try listening at some point.
    thrashrev.
    BGmetal wrote: Yep. Been looking forward to this for a long time. Decent review too. But what makes "Under Black Flags We March" a 'low point'?
    i also don't think of that song as a weak one, rather one of best tracks on khaos legions, imo.
    ctfod
    'Strictly non-commercial'? They're playing to the same crowds as Machine Head and Trivium, that's about as commercial as it gets in metal
    Nugma
    Arch Enemy doesn't rely on Gossow for attention, that's a ridiculous statement.
    Galvatron
    The melodic leads kill me on this band. The songs will be killer,a million riffs flying in every direction and then the song reaches that point where the tempo drops and we get the same old melody lead that seems to appear in EVERY one of their songs. Its killing me on this band in a big big way. I dig the tune about marching under a black flag.
    CydoniaKnight95
    Good review Glad to see this wasn't written by a fanboy or a hipster I'll be looking forward to picking this album up
    Spoonerismz
    Decent album. I enjoyed the sound on Tyrant more, but this is Arch Enemy doing what they do best.
    Brendan.Clace
    Screw AE since Anthems of Rebellion. Every album since has not been even close to up to snuff for them. Blargh.
    progbass
    Since when does criticizing a UG team review warrant a warning? Never been impressed by this band, wouldn't see this record changing that
    lmx066
    Was not overly impressed when I first listened to the album but it does grow on you. Not their best work but good enough. It used to be that their strenght was in the guitar works but the drumming part is standing out.
    The^Unforgiven
    I don't know if it's because my interest in metal music has been decreasing lately, and instead been replaced by a liking for electro / dance / pop, but I'm not too sure about this album... I bought it right when it came out, and the sound is absolutely awesome, but for some reason, the music isn't sinking in too much. Some awesome riffs, for sure, and a couple of good hooks here and there, but it's not making the same thorough impression as, say, Rise of the Tyrant or Anthems of Rebellion did when I first heard them. Make no mistake, it's a solid album, and big time Arch Enemy fans -as I once was- will probably like it, it's just that at the moment, for some reason, the album just doesn't reach out to me.