MetalBite Review by Michael on 3/6/2002
After many years of listening to all kinds of metal I thought I had heard it all, but upon first hearing this record already knowing that Arch Enemy
had recruited a new singer for "Wages of Sin"
, I was thinking “Wow!…who is this guy? He has a great voice”. After listening to it for about a week, I was hit with the bombshell…. “It’s a chick?!?…No Way!!” ..(was my first reaction)..; “You’ve got to be kidding! How does she..? How can she..?”… My final thought ironically was the same as my first; “Wow”.
From that introduction you may have already gauged that the vocals on this album, even though they may sounds similar to those off other like minded black/death albums, these have one distinguishing feature; they are performed by a surprisingly effeminate woman! These are not the sounds you are expecting to emanate for such an unlikely source, all credit to Angela Gossow for some astonishing vocal work. I don’t think there are any contenders with Angela to the throne of best looking extreme metal vocalist that’s for certain!
This is a very well constructed album indeed. All the criteria have been met, from fast thrash style 80’s influenced tracks, to slower darker more gothic sounding songs, to epic metal ballads that would bring a tear to the eye of even the hardest of metalheads. The production is very smooth, more time and money has definitely been spent in this recording, and it shows with a very clean and rounded final product.
As usual with bands the caliber of Arch Enemy
, the musicianship is top notch. The members have definitely outdone themselves on this one, taking the well known style and prowess of previous releases to a whole new level with "Wages of Sin"
. The drums are ultra tight and perfectly placed. Every hit is there when it’s needed, but unlike many drummers out there eager to show off their talents, the technical aspects have been used sparingly to keep the listener entwined. The guitars are brilliant, again keeping the technical tricks under wraps until they are most powerful and unleashing with an end result of a massive recording indeed.
Even after listening to this CD for over a week now I’m still shocked and amazed at the abilities of Angela….this is something to own indeed.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
out of 10