If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that we need regular, jolting doses of heavy fucking metal to keep us on the right track. Over the last quarter of a century, no band has flown the flag for balls-out, melody-stuffed heaviness with more vigour or dedication than Arch Enemy. In 2022, the band’s brand new album, Deceivers, is destined to be this year’s most lethally effective cure for all ills. Increasingly unstoppable, not least since the recruitment of vocalist Alissa White-Gluz in 2014, Arch Enemy are about to remind the world what the real thing sounds like, with their 11th and most explosive album yet.
“We achieved so much with those first two albums with Alissa,” band founder and guitarist Michael Amott notes. “Both Will To Power and War Eternal did so well for us. We just kept building and building and we didn’t expect that. When Angela [Gossow, Arch Enemy’s iconic former vocalist] left the band initially, I thought the band would go down to some extent and we could slowly build it back up to where we were when she left. But instead, with Alissa, it just took off and became a whole new thing.”
The wind billowing their sails and an ever-expanding audience of diehard fans, Arch Enemy arrive in 2022 in the finest of form. Written during 2020, Deceivers is another self-evident labour of heavy metal love, from a band with confidence coursing through every vein. As Michael observes, Arch Enemy have successfully negotiated the ups and downs of the Covid era and come out the other side armed with their most destructive piece of work yet.
From the belligerent fury of recent single Deceiver, Deceiver and the dramatic, viciously melodic House Of Mirrors to epic and brutal deep cuts like In The Eye Of The Storm and Spreading Black Wings, the new Arch Enemy album feels like a celebratory encapsulation of everything that has made the band such a vital force.
All of their cherished trademarks are present and correct, from majestic, heart-rending guitar hooks and harmonies through to an unremitting barrage of catchy but crushing riffs, but this is a sharper and more ferocious Arch Enemy than we have heard before. Deceivers could not have been created by any other band, but somehow this one feels like a bold reaffirming of musical values.
Arch Enemy fans have learned to expect their favorite band to sound immaculate. Deceivers once again belongs firmly at metal’s cutting edge, but a change of environment and a change of collaborator has brought new depth and texture to the band’s sound, while helping to hammer home those metal hooks with more intensity than ever.
The greatest bands always rise to the occasion. Arch Enemy are back, with one of their most defiant and uplifting records to date: a magnificent eruption of pure fucking metal, Deceivers is an invigorating, world-class shot in the arm. Meanwhile, Arch Enemy are primed and ready to return to their natural habitat, well-equipped with new anthems and still enjoying every last second of their steel-plated mission.
“We can’t wait to get back out there,” Michael Amott concludes. “I’ve always said that I’m ready to come back and play when it’s safe for everybody. The last few years have been incredible for us. It’s bizarre, because our new material is the most popular material that we have in the live show. Hopefully we can add a few more audience favorites from the new one, too!”