ARCH ENEMY – Doomsday Machine

ARCH ENEMY - Doomsday Machine


Century Media
Release date: August 22, 2005

User Review
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The stench of disappointment laid strong over Scandinavia when these Swedish Melodeath Metal heroes decided to cancel their gig at this year’s Sweden Rock Festival. The reason given was that the band needed to complete the final touches on their upcoming studio album, and although the letdown of the canceling was tough to bear, this record actually more than makes up for it. The band has yet to release a bad album, and with only one or two exceptions, they have yet to release an album that is not an absolute killer, and by the grace of the witch they have done it again.

Things take off immediately with the awesome, melodic intro, “Enter the Machine,” before “Taking Back My Soul,” “Nemesis,” and “My Apocalypse” come as pearls on a string – three frighteningly good songs coming at you before you can say “Angela Gossow is by far the most beautiful woman in Modern Metal” (a phrase pretty needless to say anyway, as she’s probably heard it more than enough times already). Those three songs are worth the price of this disc alone, but – surprise surprise – there’s even more to come.

“Carry the Cross” continues this tradition with very cool twin guitar riffing and a melodic and powerful chorus, where Gossow’s impressive growls come through loud and clear. “I Am Legend/Out For Blood” is not a bad track either – in fact it’s better than 90% of what’s released in the genre, but it does not stand out among the other Doomsday Machine tracks. Still, the groovy, drum-led middle part, and the very powerful ending section are very cool.

“Skeleton Dance” is typical classic Arch Enemy, and could easily have found its place into the classic Black Earth platter. Fat riffs, a clever arrangement, and a very groovy chorus is the recipe, and it works pretty damn awesome. The small electronic details in the background give the song that little extra, and the guitar solo is (as always) magnificent, very melodic, with that very powerful, halfcocked “wah wah” tone.

Arch Enemy has a tradition of having cool instrumentals, and “Hybrids of Steel” is another one. The main riff is very Blackmore (“Gates of Babylon”) and sounds good, as does the repeated guitar motif which serves as sort of a chorus. This is maybe the song, however, which could most easily have been left out of the album as it doesn’t really add very much to the album as a whole.

“Mechanic God Creation” is one of the album’s darkest tracks, and has some great, down-tuned riffing going on in the intro and verses, which then are contrasted with a very good, quite melodic chorus. Except for an up-tempo outro with a cool solo, the track, for the most part, lurks around at a slow pace, and comes out very powerful.

The award for the album’s coolest title has to go to “Machtkampf,” but unfortunately the music is a bit on the anonymous side, and is the album’s weakest track together with the instrumental “Hybrids of Steel.”

“Slaves of Yesterday” closes the album, and does so in a very groovy way. This is very powerful stuff indeed, and this track will probably work very well live, as it definitely gets into that slow-paced, head-banging rhythm. The guitar fills in the middle have to be mentioned too — this is a brilliant example of how very few notes can result in genius.

The guitar playing has been mentioned several times already, and the Amott brothers deliver the goods once again. These Swedes make for one of the most solid guitar pairings in Metal, coming up with killer albums again and again. Complete with a rock solid line-up of bass legend Sharlee D’Angelo, the astoundingly beautiful, as well as highly talented, Angela Gossow (Johan Liiva was even better, though, but no need to start that discussion again), as well as the awesome Daniel Erlandsson on drums. He is one of those drummers who actually plays drums and has the ability to make a very good track really stand out by adding those tiny details that add up to that little extra. Check out the final two choruses on “My Apocalypse,” for example. Those small hits on the ride cymbal makes all the difference.

Another killer album then, as expected, by this very impressive band. Not as good as Stigmata or Burning Bridges, but probably better than both Anthems of Rebellion, Wages of Sin and maybe even Black Earth. Buy buy buy!


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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