Reviews : Albums : Arch Enemy, "Black Earth"

Arch Enemy, "Black Earth"
Arch Enemy
Black Earth
Regain Records
1996, Regain Records

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Arch Enemy, "Black Earth"

This is the debut of one of my favorite bands, Sweden's Arch Enemy. They have changed quite a bit over the years, evolving into the best Gothenburg band since At the Gates, in my opinion [sorry, In Flames]. This however does not possess the total Iron Maiden style that has become associated with the scene. It has its more melodic parts to it but for this style of music it's actually rather raw and unpolished, hinting at great things to come. This one gets off the ground with Bury Me An Angel, starting with a riff that would be at home on Powerslave, and it proceeds from there. It does have its moments where it runs into trouble though. The vocals on Fields of Desolation subtract from what is otherwise an outstanding track. The music is great on here, but the vocals on the song are flat and lacking in emotion, lacking the desperation needed to make the song truly work. They redid this song as Fields of Desolation and fixed the vocal problem, but I personally didn't like how they slightly redid the music to it, adding speed where it wasn't needed. I know this is all about metal, but it doesn't all have to fast, people. Speaking of the Iron Maiden worship factor, this record contains not one, but two Iron Maiden covers on it, The Ides of March and Aces High. Both of these do their original counterparts justice, as you would expect.

Standout Tracks

   Bury Me an Angel
   Transmigration Macabre
   Fields of Desolation
   Aces High