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Arch Enemy

Determined to break through the underground metal scene and headed for higher ground is powerhouse Swedish quintet Arch Enemy.

The band's new offering, Doomsday Machine, is by far their most mature and best to date. While maintaining the aggressive and brutal sound that made them a promising up-and-coming force, Arch Enemy have now masterfully blended melody and harmony into their sound.

Quite possibly a tribute to the classic metal sounds of Iron Maiden, the instrumental jam "Enter the Machine" opens Doomsday. The guitar duo of Michael and Christopher Amott steal the track with a well-composed, constantly building guitar melody that always reaches for its next plateau. Drummer Daniel Erlandsson and bassist Sharlee D'Angelo do a great job at easing back the rhythm section to allow the guitar mastery to shine.

The all-out assault "Taking Back My Soul" fires away next, introducing vocalist Angela Gossow, who barks and grunts the song's lyrics, combining black- and death-metal stylings and sounding like she's full of testosterone shots. The Amott brothers even manage to chalk up guitar solos that sound like they actually belong in the song, to go along with the double bass and riff ferocity.

"My Apocalypse" is a more mid-tempo crunch that has a Meshuggah feel and could very well be the group's new mosh-pit anthem.

Following a trend in CD production today, the 11 songs on Doomsday are divided into 98 tracks. Confusing as that may be, don't be fooled; Arch Enemy are set to destroy and conquer.

More by Jon Hobson

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