Rise Of The Tyrant review by Arch Enemy

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  • Released: Sep 25, 2007
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.9 (164 votes)
Arch Enemy: Rise Of The Tyrant
7

Sound — 8
First of all, this album is a pleasant surprise. Today's metal scene is bursting at the seams with all things melodic death, and therefore it is increasingly harder to keep a fresh sound and approach to the new music in the genre. On Rise of the Tyrant, Arch Enemy aren't breaking new ground, but the result is still just as satisfying. On first impression, there's nothing overly new here; low, heavy riffing interspersed with melodic harmonies and hooks, aggressive vocals, soaring lead work and pounding drums. The songwriting is solid, but keeping within the general melo-death style. Where this album wins, is in the fact that the guitar work is good, the riffs sound original and fresh, solos are really pleasing (both in terms of the recording and the actual playing), and the fact that the band sounds tight. The entire record gives the impression of a band that has a single vision, and connects with one another musically. Production is one of the best points about Rise of the Tyrant. The mix is clear, though some of the riff sections occasionally sound a little messy. The drum recordings are crucial on a metal album, and it was a relief to hear that on this album the sound is brutal, and most importantly, breathing. The only complaint about the production is the bass gets lost in the overall sound every now and then. My favourite aspect is the lead work by and far. Whereas rhythm is grounded, low and dirty, the solos are given a lot of room to work with, and it pays off -- the notes literally sing, and bring the additional emotive aspect. Rise of the Tyrant begins with a disquieting siren of Blood On Our Hands, which remains one of my favourite songs. It gives an appropriate taste of the album from the main perspectives. That's not to say that the entire album sounds the same, however/ The Gothenburg sound is tried-and-true, but it doesn't get in the way of the album's eleven songs, which will keep the sound well alive into 2007. There are points where the music does sound a little tried, but those times are relatively few.

Lyrics — 5
The vocals have never been my favourite parts of Arch Enemy's sound, so Rise of the Tyrant was the testing point in my view; either this is going to be the end of my interest in any new (or old) Arch Enemy, or I'll actually start paying attention. The result, I believe is the latter. Angela Gossow isn't the best vocalist in the metal scene, but she's not the worst either, and this record shows a significant improvement. The consistency of her performances is higher, and from all points it is obvious that she stepped up to a new level for the album. Quite impressive indeed. The lyrics are a bit of a disappointment. No, they are not completely awful. Nor do they make me cringe at any particular point. At the same time nothing really new is here, and I may find that I'm listening more and more to the argument of vocals are just another instrument. If you have been a long-time fan, you'll know that generally they're anti-religious and full of social commentary. Generally I have nothing against that, but as with a lot of other AE lyrics, it comes across as a bit lazy and uninspired. Bypass them unless it's your first metal album.

Overall Impression — 7
I've always been somewhat sceptical towards Arch Enemy, especially when it came to vocal delivery and a lot of rhythm work. As the Gothenburg sound is oversaturated with bands, it is becoming more difficult to find something that stands apart. Rise of the Tyrant might not break a lot of new ground, but it is most certainly a step up from any of their previous efforts. The playing is tight and proficient, Angela's vocals are brutal and aren't forced; the production quality means that all instruments are heard, and each has room to breathe. The album touches on many familiar elements of melodic death metal without making them sound cliche. The brutal rhythm guitars and powerful, fast-paced drums, melodic breaks and clear soloing are all present, with a few electronic flourishes to add atmosphere. What is crucial at making this album work is the improvement in songwriting and unity of the band in their approach. For a band that has become a love-or-hate amongst the fans, this is an important album. Again, some may find it doesn't offer them anything and move on, or continue praying that one day AE will release their dream album and they will be their favourite band again. Either way, this album is directly responsible for the resurrection of my interest in what Arch Enemy does. Furthermore, their 3rd album with Angela seems to finally justify her gig as the band's vocalist. She may not be the best, but certainly has enough ability to do these guys justice. Her performance is consistent, and fits the music very well. A very pleasing effort.

63 comments sorted by best / new / date

    unbridled03
    Well, Chris came back and saved the band. I agree the Vocals sound much better w/o the effects from previous efforts. The solos are refreshing to hear and remind me of the W.O.S. and A.O.R. era. This album is definitely more guitar less drums and virtually no bass. I'm just glad to have something in my cd player that doesn't sound like everything else the metal and death scene is pulling.
    PJplaysguitar
    Metallica1327 wrote: I think Rise of the Tyrant is Arch Enemy's best CD to date. I can listen to the whole thing without skipping even one song. I think the return of Michael Amott made the guitar riffs and solos on this album much heavier than the older CDs. Many riifs on this album get stuck in your head and you can't wait to hear them again. I'd give Rise of the Tyrant a much higher rating than a 6.7, who ever gave it that rating should be forced to get a tattoo on their forehead which says "I'm a PUSSY!". Arch Enemy = FUCKING METAL \m/ \m/
    dude, Michael's always been there. Chris is the one who left. And to the album itself, Wages of Sin is my favorite overall, but this definately has some of the better guitar work along with Stigmata. Vultures has to be my favorite track, next to Blood on Your Hands.
    SaTaNsSuN36
    definitely got a more old school sound i have loved this cd since before it came out if you like any arch enemy go buy this album. if you dont and you like metal go buy it.
    Set-Abominae
    Great band. Sweet Jesus that is one sexy lady. But I'd be scared of bumping uglies with her, on account of the noises she would make... Actually that's a complete and total lie.
    _3Lm0_
    Yeah, I don't think this is their best album. Fuck I love Angela. Seeing Arch Enemy on the 3rd Nov.
    Metallica1327
    Oops I meant Chris, my buddy Mike was right next to me while I was typing this so please excuse my brain fart.
    dimebag84
    This album is definately a grower, everytime you hear it you discover something new, which is why its such a great album! No standout tracks??! intermezzo liberto is without doubt their best instrumental! I loved Doomsday at first, but this just blows it out of the water! Definately their best since Wages. The solos and neo-classical touches are amazing! Vultures anyone???!! This album has a lot of depth, buy it and enjoy it, dont review it until you have heard it a few times.
    Cobain_Is_King
    It's definately a solid album, one of their best yet. Angela's vocals sound a hell of a lot more natural this time and I'm glad Chris is back.
    DarkDude110
    shredded_skin wrote: this album is definatly a 10 or beter and you morons know it
    So true.
    Kevin67
    I didn't really like it at first but after about 5 listens I started to get it. Now I absolutely love it.
    mitsakos
    i trully love some songs as revolution begins in the beggining it was difficult for me but now i find it absolutely great!
    chiba666
    Great Ablum, seems with Chris returnign the fire has been ingited once again
    DamoPlaysBass
    I saw these guys at the Black Crusade in Sydney, Australia. Unbelievably, they weren't loud enough. But this album has redeemed them in my eyes. =)
    South-of-Heaven
    I saw them at Black Crusade in Birmingham =] Shadow's Fall were on first but we missed them, so Arch Enemy knocked me off my face. They really set the bar high for the proceedings.
    fr33t0m
    This album kicked the crap out of me from the first song to the last song. One of the best (if not THE best) mixes of melody with outright brutality. I was losing interest in Arch Enemy before this album came out, but when it did I was blown away. Some people will be turned off by the vocals if they don't listen to death metal but it is worth getting over. None of the songs sound repetitive and each solo is very unique and adds to the music. I'm very disappointed with the 6.7 rating this album received. It is very close to a perfect melodeath album, and can and should be appreciated by fans of a wide range of metal. You will not regret purchasing this album!! 9.7/10
    swedish_death
    wages of sin, burning bridges, stigmata, black earth... classic arch enemy. this new album and doomsday machine were absolute crap.
    Hammerzeit
    Blood on your hands, the first 20 seconds or so. Now THAT is a riff. Saw them london black crusade and they blew me away. Brilliant, seeing them again in april!!!
    eNdofthELinE9
    This review is pretty correct, but I would give the lyrics a higher rating. Angela's voice is great for Melodeath and if you listen to the lyrics, they are powerful and meaningful. 7.5/10 for lyrics, everything else the same.
    cptazad
    Metallica1327 wrote: I think Rise of the Tyrant is Arch Enemy's best CD to date. I can listen to the whole thing without skipping even one song. I think the return of Michael Amott made the guitar riffs and solos on this album much heavier than the older CDs. Many riifs on this album get stuck in your head and you can't wait to hear them again. I'd give Rise of the Tyrant a much higher rating than a 6.7, who ever gave it that rating should be forced to get a tattoo on their forehead which says "I'm a PUSSY!". Arch Enemy = FUCKING METAL \m/ \m/
    Michael Amott never left the band dude, it was his brother Chris. I personally didn't like this album, there are a few catchy riffs here and there, it's the soloing/leads that made me buy this album becase the Amott brothers still know how to shred it up and make it sound tight as hell. Best tracks off this album are Blood on your hands, The Last Enemy, This Shallow Grave, the intermission and Vultures.
    AENinja-600
    the great thing about AE is they are not boring. there style or sometin has a different sound on every album which is great. could be there best album, but idk i love em all
    McMetal
    Its an alright album, there are better arch enemy albums for sure, but this one is ok.
    JVDumarC
    What's going on is like if Arch Enemy where like a rookie band, a not knowned band, something new, a regular band etc... All the world would be like "FUCK THIS SHIT IS FREAKING AWESOME!! WOOOOOWWW FUCK MAN DAMN YEAAHHHH!!!" haha or something kinda close... but it's Arch Enemy and everyone of u guys who know them well and their previous jobs know what really amazing is... so isn't a bad album it's just not close to the greatness of their previous ones... that's just my sincere opinion. Arch Enemy rule!
    mtllica
    As much as I love this album I have to say that it wasn't as memorable as Doomsday Machine...
    Damaged Roses
    Nice review, and as you say, the lyrics sound the the same in almost all songs, but the riffs are f**king awesome, deffinetively their best album. I think their best ones are: Blood on your Hands, Vultures, The day you died (that sad atmosphere really shocked me) and Rise of the Tyrant, all full of impressive riffs: combining melody and brutality, just the way I like!!
    Damaged Roses
    What's going on is like if Arch Enemy where like a rookie band, a not knowned band, something new, a regular band etc... All the world would be like "FUCK THIS SHIT IS FREAKING AWESOME!! WOOOOOWWW FUCK MAN DAMN YEAAHHHH!!!" haha or something kinda close... but it's Arch Enemy and everyone of u guys who know them well and their previous jobs know what really amazing is... so isn't a bad album it's just not close to the greatness of their previous ones... that's just my sincere opinion. Arch Enemy rule!
    I think their other albums sound pretty much the same. For example, Wages of Sin: almost all songs have a palm muted rythm for intro and makes boring to listen the complete album, but in Rise of the Tyrant, the try out different ways of playing, so it is really funny to listen.
    Wrathchild368
    Pretty good review, i wasnt as pleased with this album as others. I loved doomsday machine and i still like it better than ROTT. Oh and this is Angelas 4th album with them btw.
    Megalomaniac46
    They need to lose the chick lol
    Are you kidding me!? *facepalm* She is definitely in my top 5 metal singers.
    SoMETHINWiCKED
    One of the best albums in the past 10 years for sure, Michael Amott is god. However the album wasn't 100% perfect, even though I loved songs like Blood On Your Hands, Revolution Begins, and my all-time favorite Arch Enemy song Vultures, this kinda did have a couple of songs that were just plain bad *COUGH*DAYYOUDIED*COUGH COUGH* Still one of the best albums in awhile
    ashesofthewake
    the pic of her reminds me a lot of scarlett johansson. btw i really enjoyed the review, i might check this one soon.
    Dethkreep
    Saw them 2 days ago, Angela is actually really short 0.o. I love the new album. Blood on your hands, perfect kick off song, holy shit. One of the best bands that ever made music !..!
    pataldo
    I didnt think this album was as good as "Doomsday Machine" which i enjoyed. This one just seems busier.
    friendly fire
    Congratulations on an objective review. These things are a rarity on ultimate guitar, or even the internet.
    Dr. Knox666
    Pretty good album but Anthems of Rebellion was better. Can't wait to see 'em live at the Black Crusade Tour in December in Munich!
    add666
    wow, finally an honest review instead of 'arch enemy rulez 10/10' Might check it out now
    nido
    wages of sin and burning bridges are hard to beat.I guess I may have disliked some of the other tracks on the newer albums.Its just more fun listening to a band when all the tracks on the album are outstanding
    89cruefan
    i got the album and i have to say the album is amazing, the guitar riffs and just everything about the album is great! i have to say i think it is just better than doomsday machine. the first song blood on you hands has to be one of the best riffs of the year for me!
    vIsIbleNoIsE
    friendly fire wrote: Congratulations on an objective review. These things are a rarity on ultimate guitar, or even the internet.
    there is no such thing as an objective review.
    Heat-13
    WOOO!!! Arch enemy! nice album altho i like some of their earlier stuff more
    StenTheAwesome
    I bought this album the day it came out, it's pretty good but i was really hoping it'd be another Burning Bridges or Wages Of Sin. It's alright, but every song does have as much identity as the ones on Burning Bridges or Wages of Sin...
    Metallica1327
    I think Rise of the Tyrant is Arch Enemy's best CD to date. I can listen to the whole thing without skipping even one song. I think the return of Michael Amott made the guitar riffs and solos on this album much heavier than the older CDs. Many riifs on this album get stuck in your head and you can't wait to hear them again. I'd give Rise of the Tyrant a much higher rating than a 6.7, who ever gave it that rating should be forced to get a tattoo on their forehead which says "I'm a PUSSY!". Arch Enemy = FUCKING METAL \m/ \m/
    Kreuger
    love this album as I do the rest. Nice review, seems fair but a bit repetitive. I don't skip any Arch Enemy song what so ever. And it was Chris that left and returned not Mike.