Arch Enemy – Deceivers

Pioneering melodeath metal band Arch Enemy is back again – and they’re hitting harder than ever, despite the logistic obstacles they had to surmount to record their latest album, “Deceivers.,” which marks the band’s eleventh studio album, and the third with their current vocalist Alissa White-Gluz. Due to the difficulties tied up in international flights and collaboration, the album was recorded in pieces – first drums and guitar, then bass and solos, and finally vocals – according to Arch Enemy’s guitarist and founder, Michael Amott. Nevertheless, “Deceivers” shows the full accuracy of what their coolest merch advertises: Pure fucking metal; and additionally highlights new depths of White-Gluz’s powerful vocal expertise.

The album kicks off with “Handshake with Hell” which brings a surprising blast from the past, really thwarting our expectations with intermittent melodic vocals reminiscent of  White-Gluz’s previous work with The Agonist. White-Gluz’s contributions continue to shine in a unique cornucopia of technique and power throughout the album, her dripping gutturals pulling the sound together with a forceful filth that reminds me both of Will Ramos (frontman of the blackened symphonic deathcore band Lorna Shore) as well as White-Gluz’s popular predecessor Angela Gossow, specifically Gossow’s collaborative work with Amaranthe on “Do or Die”

The lyrics are enunciated so well that I can’t believe even a metal newb wouldn’t be able to understand them – and what’s more, it would be a mistake to leave out a comment, on the lyrical content of the album.  Arch Enemy has always had a history of rich writing, full of fire and rebellion – that’s actually one of the main things that drew me to them when I discovered them years ago, so I’m happy to report that “Deceivers” continues in theme. 

White-Gluz’s voice is truly expertly captured and highlighted, too, with what can only be described as a masterful piece of sound engineering: Every decibel of dripping filth is captured with the same detailed clarity that gives life to the dragonfly wings in nature photographer Yolanda Mochtar’s work, or the coral reef eggs as captured by Steven Kovacs. One slower track on the album, “Poison Arrow”  used synthetic string instruments – which, as a pretentious ex-classical cellist, usually annoy me – but they fit so well into the sonic texture that I didn’t hate them at all. And when the momentum of the song was picked up by a lyrical steam-train of heaviness, I was won over completely.

I don’t have a lot of criticism for this album, but one track I didn’t really understand was the instrumental interlude, “Mourning Star”, which didn’t really seem to fit in with the aesthetic of the rest of the album – and at 1:33 in length, it didn’t seem to have a lot to say on its own, either. I also wish the album was about five tracks longer, but I suppose leaving its audience begging for an encore is a trademark of the successful artist.

The band’s sound is extremely tight from start to finish, and I can really hear their development as an ensemble since their previous album, “War Eternal”. In typical Arch Enemy fashion, the soaring melody carries the pure fucking metal that hits like a huge truck of bricks. 


Rating: 9/10

Release Date: 12th August 2022
Label: Century Media Records


Writer: Fëáriel



01. Handshake With Hell
02. Deceiver, Deceiver
03. In The Eye Of The Storm
04. The Watcher
05. Poisoned Arrow
06. Sunset Over The Empire
07. House Of Mirrors
08. Spreading Black Wings
09. Mourning Star
10. One Last Time
11. Exiled From Earth


Feariel is an AI researcher with a background in classical cello performance. She fell from grace in 2014 and has been stoking the hellfire of blackened symphonic deathcore ever since: metal cred includes getting kicked out of a convent of nuns and reviewing for the Journal of Metal Music Studies. In her spare time she enjoys sleeping, and occasionally tossing people on the ground in a Judo gi.

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