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Khaos Legions: Release Notes:
Personnel: Angela Gossow (vocals); Michael Amott, Christopher Amott (guitar); Per Wiberg (keyboards); Daniel Erlandsson (drums); Mikkel Sandager (background vocals).Engineers: Rickard Bengtsson; Staffan Karlsson; Arch Enemy.Audio Mixer: Andy Sneap.Recording information: Studio Landgren (12/2010-03/2011); The Sweet Spot Studio, Sweden (12/2010-03/2011).Photographer: Patric Ullaeus.Arrangers: Angela Gossow; Michael Amott; Christopher Amott; Sharlee d'Angelo; Daniel Erlandsson.The eighth studio album by Swedish melodic death metal powerhouse Arch Enemy (assuming one doesn't count the re-recordings compilation The Root of All Evil) is superficially as strong as anything else in the band's impressive catalog. Since the day frontwoman Angela Gossow joined, Arch Enemy has been one of the most consistent bands in metal, cranking out 11 or 12 fist-pumping, anthemic tracks every couple of years. This album features 11 songs, a silly intro with narration like something from a movie trailer or a video game, and two brief instrumental interludes, one of which treads perilously close to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," but is just different enough to keep the lawyers at bay. That's not the only bit of almost-plagiarism here; the pre-chorus to "Thorns in My Flesh" bears a disconcerting melodic resemblance to Pet Shop Boys' "It's a Sin." The title and intro section of "Cruelty Without Beauty" seem like loving imitations of South of Heaven-era Slayer, and the same song, in its final two minutes, erupts into a fury of retro-thrashy guitar soloing, with one player doing his best Dave Mustaine as the other pretends he's Kirk Hammett. Meanwhile, "Yesterday Is Dead and Gone" sounds like a combination of three or four previous Arch Enemy songs. Still, Khaos Legions shouldn't be dismissed as the result of creative burnout -- there's plenty of scorching metal here, and fans will be very pleased. ~ Phil Freeman
Rickard Bengtsson; Arch Enemy