Friday, October 24, 2014

Arch Enemy at the Best Buy Theater

Alissa White-Gluz
Raised in Halmstad, Sweden, Michael Amott began playing guitar as a young teenager, copying hardcore punk, thrash/speed metal and classic metal from his record collection. He helped form the death metal band Carnage in 1988 but after one album and constant lineup changes, Carnage split in 1990. He then played in Carcass from 1990 to 1993, leaving to form a classic rock influenced band, Spiritual Beggars. Still heavily into extreme metal, Amott formed a melodic death metal supergroup, Arch Enemy, as a side project in 1996. Arch Enemy was comprised of musicians from Armageddon, Carcass, Carnage, Eucharist, Mercyful Fate, and Spiritual Beggars. Arch Enemy became Amott's most successful band, releasing its 10th studio album, War Eternal, in June 2014. Arch Enemy's current line-up consists of Amott on guitars, Daniel Erlandsson on drums, Sharlee D'Angelo on bass, Nick Cordle on guitar, and Alissa White-Gluz on vocals.

At the Best Buy Theater tonight, Arch Enemy introduced its new lead singer with a catalog of mostly older songs. In near total darkness, a recorded symphonic instrumental from the newest album, "Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude in F minor)," a Latin phrase which translates as "Time Heals Nothing," played through the sound system. Strobe lights flickered from the stage floor, and the band ripped into 2001's "Enemy Within." The new petite singer stood on a raised platform, crouched into her microphone, growled a few lyrics and spun her long blue hair. Although White-Gluz has been in Arch Enemy for less than six months, she took a commanding stand. While her roaring growl recalled death metal, the band often fluctuated between classic metal and thrash metal sounds, making for an engaging mix of brutal crush and melodic flow. The songs were often grounded in fist-pumping rhythms, but also infused an impressive range of technicality, sometimes approaching symphonic measures. It was perhaps too rough for traditional metal fans, but provided them with a cross-able bridge to more extreme metal.

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