Time passes, the world changes, but some things remain constant and unassailable. Heavy metal has endured for more than four decades because its spirit is eternal, and few bands embody the intensity, integrity and lofty artistic ambitions of the genre with more dazzling aplomb than Arch Enemy. Formed in Sweden in the mid-90s by former Carcass/Carnage guitarist Michael Amott, this most explosive and proficient of modern metal bands have spent the last 20 years propagating an unerring creed of technical excellence, songwriting genius and thunderous, irresistible live performance, accruing a huge global fan base along the way. And now, in 2017, Arch Enemy are ready to rise again and climb ever further up the ladder toward pure metal supremacy.

“The band's core musical philosophy hasn't changed much since I started the band,” says Amott. “It's still about creating intense heavy metal with extreme vocals and a lot of melody in the guitars. We've always loved writing and meticulously crafting the best songs possible, that's the main motivation for us.” When Arch Enemy released their debut album Black Earth in 1996, death metal was stagnating and in desperate need of a kick up the ass. Amott’s blueprint for the purest of metal strains proved an instant underground hit, both in Europe and Japan, and almost single-handedly resurrected death metal as a viable art form with mainstream potential. Signed to Century Media Records for 1998’s sophomore effort Stigmata, Arch Enemy marched purposefully towards a new millennium with a rapidly growing reputation. 1999’s Burning Bridges added to the band’s momentum, their razor-sharp blend of brutality and epic melody becoming more refined with each creative step.

But it was in 2001, when original vocalist Johan Liiva stood aside and mercurial frontwoman Angela Gossow stepped in, that Arch Enemy truly took off. Released in 2001 in Japan and nearly a year later in Europe, Wages Of Sin showcased a revitalised line-up and newfound gift for immortal anthems, Gossow’s feral roar adding many layers of charisma and power to Arch Enemy’s already monstrous sound. Swiftly dedicating themselves to a relentless touring schedule, the band’s upward trajectory continued throughout the first decade of the 21st century, with each successive album enhancing the band’s reputation and bringing legions of new fans to this resolute heavy metal campaign. Albums like 2003’s vicious Anthems Of Rebellion and 2011’s pitch-black and savage Khaos Legions ensured that Amott and his loyal henchmen – Gossow, drummer Daniel Erlandsson, bassist Sharlee D’Angelo and Michael’s guitarist sibling Christopher - remained firmly at the top of the extreme metal tree: respected veterans at the height of their powers. “Surviving and thriving in the metal scene is not always easy,” Amott admits. “

Contrary to what I've seen a lot of people say, I feel the scene is actually quite trend driven and it's impossible to be at the peak of your popularity all the time. In the past two decades we've seen a lot of trends and bands come and go. What I've always believed to be important is to stay true to yourself and the reasons why you started. Why you love music must always be at the forefront. I'm pretty good at keeping the 15-year-old Michael Amott alive in my heart!” Always focused but impervious to other’s rules and expectations, Arch Enemy evolved once more in 2015 following the departure of Angela Gossow (now the band’s manager).

Replacing one of the most iconic vocalists of the modern age was never going to be easy, but in the shape of former The Agonist frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz, Arch Enemy found the perfect candidate. Unveiled on the ferocious, anthem-laden triumph of 2014’s War Eternal, Alissa’s powerful identity and extraordinary vocal talents proved a natural and instantly welcomed fit. Further extensive touring cemented the new line-up’s thrilling efficacy, before one final line-up change – the arrival of legendary guitarist Jeff Loomis, formerly of Nevermore – completed the musical puzzle that Amott had been tinkering with for the best part of 20 years. “Switching singers in 2014 was a big change of course,” Amott agrees. “Alissa brings a lot the band as a singer and a very visually strong performer but also she writes great lyrics and vocal patterns that are very different to mine, which makes for more variation in the Arch Enemy sound. The twin-guitar attack has always been a big part of our sound and now we have Jeff Loomis who's played some face-melting leads on the new album!” Recorded in 2017, the tenth Arch Enemy album will be unleashed later in 2017 and promises to be the ultimate statement of heavy metal supremacy from a band that are still growing in stature as the years fall away. Will To Power will be the first album the band have recorded with their current line-up and as Michael Amott explains, diehard fans will be both thrilled to hear their favourite band on top form and somewhat surprised by their latest creative explorations.

“The goal is always to raise the bar yet again and create an epic masterpiece!” he laughs. “I think the album has a great balance between traditional Arch Enemy and some new influences that come through here and there. The most surprising thing on this album is that we've written our first ever ballad. It's still a very metal song, but there's no way around the fact that it is a ballad and that might be quite controversial for a band like us, I guess. I'm excited to hear what our fans will think of that one, but I do feel that we can afford to spread our wings a bit on our tenth studio album!”

Once Will To Power hits the streets, Arch Enemy will do what they do best, hitting the road and taking their latest batch of heroic metal anthems to the people. Achieving longevity is the toughest challenge that faces any band, but Arch Enemy have long since established themselves as a permanent fixture on the global metal scene and as standard bearers for upholding and celebrating of the heavy metal code. Right now, in 2017, no other band embodies the spirit of the genre with such flair and euphoric zeal. Long may their steel spirit prevail.
“It's always been about creating the best songs we can make and whatever success we've had is the direct result of the music speaking to people and our relentless worldwide touring,” Michael grins. “We are happy with the fact that the band has had growth spurt these last couple of years and it's exciting to put on a bigger and more complete live show for our fans. We obviously hope our fans will enjoy Will To Power and we're looking forward to getting back out there and performing live again, with a whole bunch of killer new tunes up our sleeve!”archenemymetal

Over the course of nearly 15 years and an incalculable amount of tour miles, New Orleans' own Goatwhore have inadvertently established themselves as one the most diligent and consistently ferocious bands of the 21st century. Forged in fire by ex Acid Bath/Crowbar guitarist Sammy Duet in '97, their storied legacy follows a dramatic —and often traumatic — series of lineup shifts, injuries, haunting
s, natural disasters and an assortment of other mishaps large and small. But, driven by a blood oath to heavy metal and perhaps the powers of Satan himself, Goatwhore forever persevere.

Their journey began with the bestial Serenades To The Tides Of Blood demo and subsequent Eclipse Of Ages Into Black debut full-length unleashed over a decade ago. Then a five-piece comprised of Duet, Soilent Green vocalist Ben Falgoust, guitarist Ben Stout, bassist Patrick Bruders and drummer Zak Nolan, the band's stanch DIY work ethic, rigid tour schedule and the bludgeoning force of songs like "Invert The Virgin" and "Desolate Path To Apocalyptic Ruin" quickly spawned a maniacal cult following. By 2003, Goatwhore had systematically harvested a legion of followers possessed by the band's profound maze of unhallowed lyrics, Celtic Frostian rhythms, and blackened bayou swagger. Catastrophe–brewed sophomore release, Funeral Dirge For The Rotting Sun, bore a slower, broodier brand of apocalyptic menace; onethat trailed a near-fatal van crash that left Falgoust temporarily paralyzed and the future of the band in disarray. Against all medical odds, Falgoust regained use of his legs and the band, now a four-piece with Duet taking on full guitar responsibilities, quickly returned to their rightful place on the road. Seemingly drawn to bouts of misfortune, A Haunting Curse found the revised Goatwhore lineup of Duet, Falgoust, drummer Zack Simmons (ex-Nachtmystium) and bassist Nathan Bergeron, fleeing the debilitating floodsof Hurricane Katrina. Delayed but undeterred, Goatwhore's first Metal Blade offering proved their most volatile yet. Relentless in speed, precision and barefaced animosity, Goatwhore had traveled well-beyond the confines of conventional black metal with a thrashier end product that fully-embraced their long-avowed Hellhammer and Venom devotion without ever plagiarizing it.

Released in 2009, the sinistral Carving Out The Eyes Of God hit with titanic urgency. Hailed among the year's most worthy metal albums by fans and critics nationwide, Goatwhore's fourth long-player shattered mainstream conventions. The recordbroke Billboard Top 200 ranking in at #190, debuted on the Billboard Hard Music chart at #33, the Billboard Top New Artist (Heatseekers) Albums chart at #16, and the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart at #34. Decibel magazine declared the production,"the band's tightest, most guitar-driven offering to date. An unholy smorgasbord of rigid tempo shifts, gargantuan hooks, blasting black mass anthems, and Falgoust's soot and venom snarl…," while Outburn compared it to, "a modern day, 'roid-injected sword fight between Celtic Frost and Venom." High traffic web portal Blabbermouth crowned the production "…one of 2009's purest metal albums…nefariously black and sadistically thrashing in a way that is uniquely Goatwhore," while MetalSucks proclaimed Carving Out The Eyes Of God "the catchiest album Goatwhore have ever released." Furtheralbumtriumphs included a spot on the 2010 edition of Ozzfest and two performances at the annual SXSW music conference enabling the horned collective to deliver their sadistic hymns of religious treachery to an even broader sect of listeners.

For the next two years, the band maintained an infamously unyielding tour cycle, leveling cities throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia with their universally praised live rituals. Further educating the potentially unversed, "Apocalyptic Havoc" appears on the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 game soundtracks for Splatterhouse and more recently, Saints Row 3, while the video for the song was featured in an episode of Last Call with Carson Daly. And as if to close out a near perfect run of riotous adventures, Goatwhore was named Best Hard Rock/Metal Artist of 2010 at The Big Easy Awards last April, a deserving honor based on performance throughout the year.

In 2012, Goatwhore again raise their cloven hoofs in salutation to Blood For The Master. Now featuring Duet, Falgoust, Simmons and bassist James Harvey, who joined the goaty ranks in 2009 following the departure of Nathan Bergeron, the record finds Louisiana's notorious metal horde at their most unified. Recorded and mixed at Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida with longtime friend/producer Erik Rutan, who worked with Goatwhore on both Carving… and A Haunting Curse, the ten-track, 38-minute Blood For The Master is epic in sound, mind and execution.

Released through Decibel Magazine's flexi series, and later posted online for the masses to absorb, a cover of Motöhead's "(Don't Need) Religion" was presented as an album teaser in October. An appropriately infernal rendition of an often neglected classic, the song served as the perfect precursor to an album prevalent in its hailstorm of fist-pumping, heathen anthems and rhythmic devastation.

Exhibiting a labyrinth of moods and meticulous tempo shifts, Blood For The Master is streamlined without ever rendering itself predictable. As memorable as it is menacing, the band's fifth full-length quite literally writhes under the weight of its own deviant heaviness. Led by the traditionally iconoclastic sermons of the leather-throated Falgoust, and made whole by its mammoth guitar tone, unconditional drum/bass battery and Duet's intermittent snarls of wrath, the record again challenges god's legitimacy/authority while further exploring the ritual of death. Conveyed with a poetic, near occultish grace, songs like violent opener "Collapse In Eternal Worth," "Embodiment Of This Bitter Chaos," and "In Deathless Tradition" finds Falgoust, dubbed "one of the best live and recorded singers in metal history," by notable Canadian website Hellbound, in full domination mode. "I always have a lot of words," he elaborates. "I don't like repeating things but I've started doing more chorus-verse-chorus stuff. I started letting the music breath more."

"It's not like the new songs are a drastic change," Duet noted in an early interview with Decibel Magazine. "It's like an experimentation on how much more metal we can get – I mean actual metal; the roots of heavy metal. But not in a way that it sounds like power metal or anything like that. It's like an extremely metal version of us."

"I thought this was a lot harder to write just because we didn't want to repeat ourselves," he further notes. "I mean, we could have easily gone and written another Carving Out The Eyes Of God but we didn't want to do that. There are still elements on the new album that we wouldn't normally do, but it definitely still sounds like us."

"It's definitely harder at this point," Falgoust agrees of the writing process, "because you start to get to the point where you're a little older and more conscious about your ideas and everything; you become more anal about things. I'm still getting used to it, but I really like it. I like the flow. When we write, we try to think of it in a live approach. A lot of people write records but they never really focus on playing it live but that's so important. We can do all of these songs live, which is something we did with Carving… as well."

"I think sometimes we get slighted for stuff" Falgoust continues on where the band now fits within metal's ever expanding pantheon of subgenres. "Whatever terms people decide to lock us into— black metal, death metal, black death metal, everyone's gotta have some kind of little blanket. It's almost like a social standing. To me, it's all just straight heavy metal."

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