Arch Enemy – Doomsday Machine
(Warning: this post goes nowhere if you wanna learn anything about this CD, just go to YouTube and check out a song or two, because you’re not going to learn anything here.)
Today we are carrying on with Arch Enemy’s 6th studio record ‘Doomsday Machine’. I’m just going to say up front here, I really have no clue as what I’m going to write about this CD. I don’t have a story of discovery, a time I saw or worked with the band, nor any song that blew my mind when I first heard this record. I bought the CD a couple years after its release, around the same time I was buying up a number of other albums by the band, so it sort of blends with their next record ‘Rise of the Tyrant’. I already mentioned how I lost interest in the band around 2010 or so and haven’t listened to them too much since then, until this week when I started playing the CD’s in preparation for the write up’s I planned on writing. So, I’m just going to be winging it here, and hopefully, I’ll come up with something.
As I mentioned yesterday I first heard of Arch Enemy back in 2002, but really didn’t start collecting their albums until around 2008. At the time, I was working at Dish Network and one of the guys that worked in the warehouse, Justin, was a fellow long haired metal head, and the two of us had a bit of a competition going of who could find quality metal CD’s cheap. Each week we would hit up the various CD’s stores across the city, and then talk about what we found come Monday. It was Justin who got me into Amon Amarth, Nevermore, and to a certain extent Opeth. Between Justin and my roommate at the time Ken, I built up a pretty good metal collection at the time. I believe it was these conversations with Justin that lead to me to explore Arch Enemy some more.
As I was exploring Arch Enemy’s and other various bands we discussed discography’s, I would spend some time on their Wikipedia page trying to learn as much as I could about each band. What I learn about Arch Enemy during this time was that they were considered the leaders of the melodic death metal scene. Now I had never heard of melodic death metal, and kind of thought the term was stupid. It’s not that Arch Enemy didn’t exhibit either of those elements, they have tons of both, it just seemed contradictory to me. Aside from Angela’s growls vocals, I really didn’t hear too much death metal in them, at least the not the death metal I grew up on. I sort of thought of them more as a thrash metal band than death metal band. Though I admit I have no idea what makes something death metal or thrash metal anymore. But it all seem arbitrary to me.
So, what does make Arch Enemy death metal as opposed to thrash metal? The best I can tell its guitarist, songwriter, and founder Mike Amott’s connection to the 1990’s death metal scene with his former two bands Carnage and Carcass. Though some people may split hairs on whether Carcass was grindcore or death metal when they first started, by the time they disbanded in the mid 90’s they were considered leaders of the death metal movement. In fact, he formed Arch Enemy shortly after leaving Carcass, and in many ways carried where he left off with them. But is what he’s doing with Arch Enemy death metal? I really don’t know. As I said, I honestly think the label is there because of Mike Amott and nothing else. Yeah, Angela does growl, but so does Corey Taylor Slipknot, and no one who knows anything about death metal is going to say Slipknot is death metal.
So, what does any of this babbling mean? Well if I’m going to be perfectly honest with myself, it means I really don’t know that much about extreme metal and probably shouldn’t be trying to discuss it on a public forum. One thing doing these reviews series have taught me is that I’m just a music dork as opposed to a metal head. Yes, I have long hair, wear black t-shirts and jeans, and loved metal. But I also love classic rock, progressive rock, and industrial. I also like a little bit of jazz, the blues, folk, and old country. So, I think it’s a bit misleading to claim to be a metalhead. All it takes is me hanging out with a few true metal heads and listen to them talk about various black and death metals bands I never heard of and it becomes obvious, to me at least, I probably shouldn’t call myself a true metal head.
Well, I’ve reached my word count so I’m just gonna punch out and call it a day. Sorry that this review didn’t go anywhere. But as this series progresses, you’ll find that will happen more and more.