Sound — 10
Wages of Sin is the defining album for Arch Enemy, released in 2001 as the band's debut with front woman Angela Gossow. Melodic, fast, heavy, and bleak Wages of Sin is a non-stop Melodic death metal masterpiece. But unlike many melodic death metal bands Arch Enemy wield a darker, eerier sound that does not strike as similar to Melodic death metal bands Inflames, Children of Bodom, and Amon Amarth, which produce more uplifting and folk-like melodies. Combining Gossow's spidery beltch, the Amott Brothers' heavy technicalities, Daniel Erlandsson's piercing beats, and Sharlee D'Angelo's present bass, Wages of Sin is sure to impress any fan of the Gothenburg and death metal scene.
Lyrics — 9
There are several religious implications from Wages of Sin, and the first that comes to mind is Ravenous, one of Arch Enemy's most popular songs. The chorus includes the well known "Carnivorous Jesus" line among other suggestive song titles such as "Savage Messiah", "Web of Lies", and "The First Deadly Sin". Wages of Sin targets Christianity as the source of one's desperation and inner suffering, but to any metal fan the power of the music will do just the opposite. The words are not overly deep and are often spoken aggressively and snakelike, demonstrating Gossow's presence and skill as a female death metal vocalist.
Overall Impression — 10
There isn't a single Arch Enemy fan who dislikes "Enemy Within" or "Ravenous" off Wages of Sin, but for those of you who have never listened to either know that they are both fast and powerful. Enemy Within is a balance of melody and thrash, while what you gather most from the sound of Ravenous is its heavy, thrashy main riff. However because I am not a fan of slow, gloomy songs in metal, tracks like "Savage Messiah" and "Behind the Smile" aren't as enjoyable, but they remain great songs nonetheless. "Dead Bury Their Dead" is also a killer song, with a great opening riff and amazing solo. Fortunately I can say that every musician in the band is heard. Michael Amott is a legendary guitarist who never fails to impress fans with top notch melodies, riffs and solos; Daniel Erlandsson's sound is clear, fast and technical; Angela Gossow is a well known death metal vocalist who puts a lot of energy into her growling, and D'Angelo's bass is heard even above the roaring guitars, drums and singing. What more can I say? Go out and buy this album.