The Pitch: "Following in the steps of their most acclaimed album to date, War Eternal, which saw the band reach their highest charts in the US and Germany to date, Will To Power will continue to smash records rightfully earning Arch Enemy their seat at the table of heavy metal royalty." Via Century Media. FFO: Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, The Haunted
What I Like: This band still has a few rippers up its sleeve. Will To Power opens on a high note with the one-two punch of "The Race," and "Blood in the Water." The guitar hooks on both of these tracks seem to reach back all the way to the days of Wages of Sin or even Burning Bridges. And while not every track on this album is a hole in one, I still find it impressive that this decade+ old band can tear it up with the young bloods. In this respect, picking up Alissa White-Gluz continues to pay off. I will always call Angela Gossow the best of Arch Enemy's vocalists, and even one of the most important metal frontwomen of all time; but this subtle rebranding likely brought in some new fans without sacrificing ferocity. Alissa's harsh vocals carry just as much power as her predecessor. She even has a few new tricks up her sleeve that, despite my issues below, are nice to see. Finally, love love love the surprise orchestral element on "A Fight I Must Win." Epic finale.
Critiques: While I'm impressed with the power behind Alissa's clean vocals on "Reason To Believe," this is just not what I come looking for with Arch Enemy. Experimentation is good, but I'm glad it's just one track. It feels out of place. I prefer my melodeath fast and hard. Leave the ballads to Dark Tranquillity. On a more general note, there's a lot of filler in the middle of this album. Even the second single "The Eagle Flies Alone" fails to make an impression. At 51 minutes, I feel like they could have excised a few of these and made it a leaner and ultimately stronger 35-40 minutes.
The Verdict: Will To Power doesn't reach the high benchmarks of the band's early days as a whole, but it certainly has its moments. The high points of this album rival their best material, and even though the ballads don't quite come together, it is nice to hear an old dog try some new tricks. Pick up Arch Enemy's latest banger this Friday.
Flight's Fav's: The Race, Blood In The Water, Dreams Of Retribution
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