Arch Enemy – Deceivers: Album Review

Arch Enemy – Deceivers: Album Review

The international melodic death metal band Arch Enemy released its new (eleventh in a row) album, called Deceivers, on August 12 on the Century Media label. The release of the album was originally planned for July 29, but it was postponed, as the band itself said “due to unforeseen circumstances”, but oh well. Five whole years have passed since the release of the last 2017 album Will to Power. Perhaps such a long time is due to the fact that Arch Enemy is an international supergroup, and in the conditions of a pandemic, writing an album is not a very easy task, since the participants are separated by the Atlantic Ocean — one half of the group is in North America, and the other half is in Europe, which, taking into account quarantines, introduces its own problems.

Therefore, it is quite interesting what the band will offer this time. In principle, before the release of the record itself, the band presented as many as 5 new singles – almost half of the album. Therefore, the first conclusions could already be made.

So, the 45-minute album, which includes 11 tracks, was recorded in Denmark at Hansen Studios under the direction of producer Jacob Hansen. Almost all the material was written by guitarist Michael Amott, drummer Daniel Erlandsson is listed as a co–author of one of the songs and Christopher Amott – Michael’s younger brother also co-authored two compositions. So once again, Jeff Loomis’ contribution came down to writing solo parts, but in vain.

Arch Enemy – Deceivers: Album Review

Let’s move on to the content of the record itself. It opens with the song Handshake With Hell – this is the third single from the album, released back in February. After a short introduction, a rather cheerful song begins with a mixture of growling and clean vocals. Alissa demonstrates the full breadth of her vocal range. A rather eventful composition with several short solos. Towards the end of the song there is a slow part with soulful singing. The song is very diverse in content, which characterizes the whole album as well as possible.

Next comes the first single from the album, almost the title song Deceivers, Deceivers, which was released back in October 2021. One of the most powerful themes on the album and definitely one of the hits. Quite a tough and interesting composition with a memorable chorus. A future favorite at concerts.

Next comes the latest single released in July, In The Eye Of The Storm. The song itself represents mid-tempo heavy metal with Alissa’s powerful voice and cute guitar harmonies.

The Witcher is perhaps the fastest and most aggressive theme on the album at the junction of thrash and melodic death with a melodic chorus. In the middle of the track there is a mid-tempo instrumental with a cascade of harmonies and solos. The keyboard completion of the composition smoothly moves to the next track.

Poisoned Arrow opens with an orchestral intro and gentle guitars, turning into an epic and melodic heavy metal piece at a slower tempo.

Then there is another previously presented single Sunset Over the Empire, starting with an alarming introduction, and then, surprisingly, death metal went straight with choral support, which will look great at concerts. One of the best and most interesting songs on the album.

Another song that was released earlier as a single is the magnificent House of Mirrors. Alissa’s voice is just great here, as are the guitar parts. The chorus is one of the biggest hits on the whole record. In general, an excellent and powerful theme.

Spreading Black Wings was apparently also conceived for concerts with inserts of “Hey, hey”. In general, this is a medium-tempo epic composition with a very gloomy atmosphere both musically and lyrically, which adds even more variety to the record.

Next comes a short instrumental interlude Mourning Star, giving some respite for the listener before the last songs on the album.

The penultimate track is One Last Time. Quite a cheerful song, but very melodic, especially in the chorus. There are also inserts of a clear voice in the conversational genre, and at the end the tempo decreases and very melodic guitar solos appear again.

Well, the closure is Exiled From Earth. It begins with a drawn-out string intro, turning into a powerful instrumental part. Actually, nothing unusual happens next – a typical Arch Enemy song.

Arch Enemy – Deceivers: Album Review

Well, as a general conclusion. It turned out to be a high-quality, mostly medium-tempo and very diverse album, but death metal from the band’s music is gradually disappearing, giving way to classic heavy with the interweaving of various metal styles. Again, the main author of the music was Michael Amott. And despite all his talent, he seems to be running out of ideas. Having such a guitarist as Jeff Loomis in the composition, it is simply a crime not to let him write several compositions, at least in co-authorship. But on the other hand, the band has found its own style, the fan likes it, so why invent a bicycle when it has already been invented, especially to attach some kind of motor to it. Therefore, the collective has found a certain comfort zone for itself and does not go far from it, but in vain, I would like more extreme, it’s still kind of like death metal.

Alissa White-Gluz is as always on top and has a really powerful voice. Clean vocals are rarely used to add color to different songs, rather than seem like an inevitable part of each composition. In principle, there are no bad songs on the record. Among the hits are definitely Deceivers, Deceivers, Sunset Over the Empire and House of Mirrors. It is also worth highlighting The Watcher. In general, the album is for Arch Enemy fans and for everyone who loves high-quality, well-recorded, melodic and not very extreme metal.