I was just at the library this morning and whilst looking through the CDs I saw this hellish beauty, Khaos Legions from Arch Enemy. As part of my try to like modern music thing I figured I’d better give it a whirl. And it is a whirl, starts with an instrumental and narration that sets the scene of a post apocalyptic world and then launches into a very accessible but suitably punchy speed metal with moments of almost Classical technical display.
The usual things are here; butterfly kick drums, panned toms, loads of chugging, shared solos (a la Tipton & Downing) and cartoon/video game lyrics about a world that has been torn up. Lots of corpses. Vocals are in the Death Growl style which I think is a bit of a shame as it takes some of the point out of the album. The growl should certainly be used as part of the style but I prefer the songs where I can hear the words as it helps create the scene so much better for me.
The big surprise for me is that the singer is actually a woman. This is rare enough in Metal but to have a growl that is indistinguishable from a man is something. Without trying to miss the point Angela is also not quite what you expect a Metal singer to look like.
Some of you may wonder at my liking Metal. Can’t live with Coldplay but willing to bounce with Satan’s minions. Well maybe this is because I grew up with Metal. I heard Run To The Hills as a child, Judas Priest were there on TV telling me I had Another Thing Comin’, Smoke On The Water was a Classic and Europe’s Final Countdown was pure fun. Maybe I will always have a soft spot for Metal as I know the rules. Many of the modern bands (Coal Chamber etc.) have changed ’em and I don’t get that but if the core is classic then I will like it fine.
Also remember I wrote my own Metal EP. Yeah maybe it was bad but it was also good enough to get handed around the scene and get me close to a deal.
Anyway, if you are in a mood for a thrash then Arch Enemy’ Khaos Legions is not a bad way to go. I had fun.