The Root Of All Evil review by Arch Enemy

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  • Released: Sep 28, 2009
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (39 votes)
Arch Enemy: The Root Of All Evil

Sound — 7
Arch Enemy have always been known for their fast melodic style of metal and this album, although a bit slower than their previous material, is no exception. The Root of All Evil is basically a re-recording of previous songs, and this is something that never bodes well for a band (Testament did it with First Strike Still Deadly- listen to it and you'll see why). Though The Root of All Evil has its moments in 'Beast Of Man', 'Bury Me An Angel', 'Transmigration Macabre', and 'Diva Satanica, it feels forced at some points, as if the Amotts aren't really all too excited about the whole prospect. In favor of the album, the solos have been extended, and they feel a lot cleaner than their earlier counterparts. The bass is rarely heard, and comparing the into of 'Beast Of Man' to its Stigmata counterpart, you'll find that this one is a lot... quieter. The one thing that shines out is Daniel Erlandsson's drumming, which never even shows a hint of letting up of slowing down.

Lyrics — 9
Angela Gossow delivers, as usual. The beginning of 'Beast Of Man' sampled Liiva's vocals, and for a second I feared that Angela had abandoned her tried-and-tested formula. Her vocals add a freshness to the same songs once dominated by Liiva's bark, though to be honest, on tracks such as 'Silverwing' and 'Bridge Of Destiny', Liiva's vocals sound a lot better and fit the song well. Angela's exceptional performance in 'The Immortal' harkens back to Wages Of Sin at some points, and on the whole I am impressed by her vocals.

Overall Impression — 8
The Root of All Evil is a brilliant album for any person looking to get an insight into Arch Enemy (as it showcases the newer Arch Enemy in terms of sound and the older in terms of songwriting), and this album, while not on par with Rise of the Tyrant, is a gem in itself. For a die-hard fan of early Arch Enemy, this album won't really make the cut, but it is highly recommended for everyone else. Stand-outs include 'Beast Of Man, 'The Immortal', 'Diva Satanica', Bury Me An Angel', 'Transmigration Macabre', and 'Silverwing' (though I still prefer the original. If it were stolen, I probably would buy it again despite having the songs on my iTunes, because it's awesome and to keep my Arch Enemy collection complete.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Damn I wish I never heard this album. Angela makes all the songs have the same energetic feel even where it shouldn't. Liiva's vocals is all that could work with the song. Angela seriously should consider reinventing her writing and singing. It seriously one dimensional IMHO. Listen to both versions of dead inside. Johan's has a soul, you can feel sadness, Angela's is just screaming as usual. As far as these songs go Johan Liiva > Angela Gossow. This album does no justice to the original songs.
    i do agree some tracks should have been left to liiva as they were wrote and originially recorded with him, and once u get an idea of what something should sound like its hard to change that idea. but i think angela brought something to the band. tho rise of the tyrant was at some points, "difficult" to get thru, the other releases were very heavy and intense. Liiva always seemed more appropriate for a thrash outfit to me, but nontheless a great vocalist.
    I like bacon
    Arch Enemy is my favourite band ever, but I kind of think they disappointed with The Root of All Evil. The bright spots for the album would be improved drumming and some damn cool solos. Particularly the new solos in Bridge of Destiny as so good that they actually give me chills down my spine every time I hear them. On the other side I find that Angela does not fit the style, the effects are overkill and ruin the atmosphere of the songs. They've also broken some of the best parts of the songs. Demonic Science's ending is probably the best example of this. The original version features one of the best outro pieces I've ever heard, while the new version is just plainly... bad. On the Johan versus Angela debate I've always thought that Angela is better live, while Johan is the better on the albums. I have not actually been to a concert with either of them, but I do own Burning Japan Live and Tyrants of the Rising Sun, and judging by those I can say that the only really amazing work Johan did live was "Tears of the Dead" (which is for reasons unknown to me, really amazing with the guitars in this live recording), while Angela delivers great vocals all round.