Year : 1996 (Expanded Remastered Edition 2013)
Style : Melodic Death Metal
Country : Sweden
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans + Video
Size : 156 mb
Formed by ex-Carnage, Carcass, and Candlemass guitarist Michael Amott (concurrently of Spiritual Beggars) with his brother Christopher (Armageddon), Arch Enemy took a straight-ahead approach to death metal reminiscent of Entombed or late-period Carcass, blending catchy, classic-style metal riffs with crushing grooves for an intense yet accessible sound. The group's charter lineup was rounded out by bassist/vocalist Johan Liiva (Carnage, Furbowl) and drummer Daniel Erlandsson (Eucharist, session work for In Flames); they released their debut album, Black Earth, in 1996. For their second album, 1998's Stigmata, Armageddon bassist Martin Bengtsson took over those duties from vocalist Liiva, while Armageddon drummer Peter Wildoer sat in for Erlandsson. More personnel turnover ensued, as Mercyful Fate reunion bassist Sharlee D'Angelo (also formerly of Witchery and Dismember) joined up for 1999's Burning Bridges, which also featured the return of Erlandsson. Wages of Sin from 2001 found Johan Liiva departing and replaced by Angela Gossow.After touring extensively across Europe and Japan, the band returned to the studio and released Anthems of Rebellion in 2003. The EP Dead Eyes See No Future was released by the end of the year and featured a mix of cover versions and live tracks. The album Doomsday Machine landed in July of 2005 right as guitarist Christopher Amott announced he was leaving the band. Former Tiamat member Fredrik Åkesson replaced him, though the two would switch places again two years later with Åkesson leaving the band to join Opeth, and Amott taking back his spot on guitar. The band then released its seventh album, Rise of the Tyrant, in 2007. The album would be Arch Enemy's most successful album to date, and they followed up the release by heading out on tours with Swedish metal giants Opeth and Dark Tranquillity. In 2009 the band looked back to its older material with The Root of All Evil. The album featured tracks from the band's first three albums that were re-recorded with current singer Angela Gossow. Arch Enemy reported they were entering the studio at the end of 2010, planning to release their ninth album in mid-2011.
Black Earth is high in quality on Arch Enemy’s repertoire. Both Amott brothers knew they had to make an impression the first time around, so there was no doubt that all the goods were on the table with this one. Everything is coated in this ripping distortion and embalmed by dark, arcane atmosphere and soundscapes. It's so relentless and ferocious for melodic death of this nature with its deeply harmonized leads and monolithic scope. Erlandsson's playing is swift and thunderous like all drummers of his caliber should be.Arch Enemy’s first singer, Johan Liiva, performs here with nothing held back. His vocal style is unique but also a bit on the inhibiting side at first. His words can be clearly heard due to his choice of yelling roughly, rather than outright grunts, growling, or screaming. It's an odd choice that grows to become rapturous and authoritative. On this matter, the first track itself is one of the best tracks on the album, displaying all the critical pieces of Arch Enemy’s early style. Liiva there is fierce, potent and concentrated.Black Earth's songs have memorable riffs and brilliant (including dual) harmonized leads and solos that make it easy to know one from the other. They're all unruly, brutal, brooding, and majestic compared to the rest of the Gothenburg stuff at the time. The album's akin to The Jester Race by In Flames, but certainly a different breed of melodic death and way more vigorous as it steers closer to Iron Maiden's dynamic side. The best part of the album lies with all the Arch Enemy albums - Christopher and Michael. Of any brothers, these two created the best blend of dark and light themes spoken through the riffs and leads. Focusing on the instrumental prowess is “Demoniality” and "Time Capsule". The former consists of is a single riff that drags for the entire minute twenty, albeit catchy for the first couple of repeats. The latter, “Time Capsule”, redeems the first instrumental. To me, this is one of the most beautiful pieces of all AE’s instrumentals. It's so romanticized but executed in such a pristine fashion as to fit perfectly with the album's character.This album kicked off what was a promising career. For the next two albums, Arch Enemy would go for two different styles of the same sound. One, Stigmata would be the mature, melancholic approach while Burning Bridges would be lighter. This entire trilogy is a world of its own to enjoy.
Johan Liiva - Vocals, Bass - See also: ex-Hydr Hydr, ex-Mortal Abuse, ex-Furbowl, Black Earth, ex-Hearse, ex-Nonexist, ex-Carnage, ex-Wonderflow
Michael Amott - Guitar (1995-present), Bass (1996), Keyboards (2007) - See also: Spiritual Beggars, ex-Carnage, Black Earth, ex-Candlemass, ex-Carcass, ex-Entombed (live), ex-Disaccord
Christopher Amott - Guitar
Daniel Erlandsson - Drums (1996, 1998-present) - See also: Eucharist, ex-The End, Black Earth, ex-Armageddon, ex-Brujeria, ex-Carcass, ex-In Flames, ex-Revengia, ex-Diabolique, ex-Liers in Wait
01. Bury Me An Angel (03:40)
02. Dark Insanity (03:17)
03. Eureka (04:44)
04. Idolatress (04:56)
05. Cosmic Retribution (04:00)
06. Demoniality (01:20)
07. Transmigration Macabre (04:10)
08. Time Capsule (01:09)
09. Fields Of Desolation (05:35)
10. Losing Faith (03:11) (Bonus Track)
11. The Ides Of March (Iron Maiden Cover) (01:44) (Bonus Track)
12. Aces High (Iron Maiden cover) (04:24) (Bonus Track)
CD2 - Bonus Tracks - Live in Japan 1997
01. Dark Insanity (Live In Japan 1997) (04:00)
02. Transmigration Macabre (Live In Japan 1997) (04:16)
03. Idolatress (Live In Japan 1997) (05:15)
04. Cosmic Retribution (Live In Japan 1997) (04:12)
05. Eureka (Live In Japan 1997) (04:41)
06. Drum Solo / Losing Faith (Live In Japan 1997) (03:53)
07. Fields Of Desolation (Live In Japan 1997) (06:20)
08. Bury Me An Angel (Live In Japan 1997) (03:55)
09. Aces High (Live In Japan 1997) (04:41)
+ Video "Bury Me An Angel " (Official Video)
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