Arch Enemy / Khaos Legions

Khaos Legions

Khaos Legions is the eighth studio album by Swedish extreme metal band Arch Enemy, it was released on May 30, 2011 by Century Media. The record marks a return to new, original material, after releasing the Tyrants of the Rising Sun – Live in Japan live CD/DVD (2008) and The Root of All Evil (2009) which consisted of a selection of re-recorded songs from the band’s back catalog.

Khaos Legions debuted at number 78 on the Billboard 200, selling around 6,000 copies. This surpasses both Doomsday Machine and Rise of the Tyrant, making it the bands highest-charting effort so far.

The Analysis:

Khaos Overture [Instrumental]—-Beginning much as you would expect, the intro to this release is full of urgency, darkness and a brutality that is only a slight taste of things to come. All the while, this by now seasoned band gives a nice melodic flair to the onslaught…bringing only a big smile to my face!!!

Yesterday Is Dead and Gone—-Right out of the gate, the track is aggressive as hell…there is a nice guttural scream from Angela and then the mayhem ensues. It is just beyond belief that that voice comes out of this lady. The song is firm in the formula of the band…the melody and the structure is what we have come to expect. The amazing thing to me is the exceptional musicianship…it seems the band has developed even more in the few years they have been gone…..fantastic!!!

Bloodstained Cross—-There is so much energy right from the onset of this song, I have problems staying seated. Angela again delivers a death scream that almost makes me hard. This is a pummeling track…the drums are amazing and the leads that go off into solos are magnificent. Angela gets some nice squeals to her voice that off set the deep tones rather nicely…this is a true return to form!!!

Under Black Flags We March—-Beginning with a bit of a downtrodden beat, the song slowly builds…at times sounding like classic 80’s Heavy Metal….all that illusion is dashed once Angela opens her mouth. This is nice, the melody sticks in your brain…but the song is unremarkable…except for the chorus…which is catchy as hell…..repeat, repeat and repeat…..

No Gods, No Masters—-Returning to full on aggression, the band again seems to deliver a slight retro sound that is only amped up by the vocal. This is pretty damn catchy though…even with the vocal as rough as it is. Angela actually seems more accessible than I can ever remember her sounding. This has a nice ebb and flow to the feel of the music…there is a huge marching beat to the backdrop that only fuels the adrenaline rush…a favorite of mine.

City Of The Dead—-Nice….right from the onset!!!! The huge sound that this band manages to produce is just incredible. Angela delivers line after line of deep and incredible sounds that defies most other Metal singers. This is one band I have not seen live…but must catch them on this tour!!!!

Through The Eyes Of A Raven—-Again, this is aggressive right out of the gate. The bass and drums are the leaders on this track and the result is pretty damn fantastic. This band has a pretty incredible rhythm section…that falls into place very well once the rest of the band kicks in. Musically, this is very Dimmu Borgir to me……even the vocal is not that far off…although Angela sings in a bit more mechanical voice than Shagrath. None the less, one of the other best tracks on this release.

Cruelty Without Beauty—-This is rather odd at the onset……a bit mechanical and atmospheric…..but the little trickles of sounds slowly build until you are set smack in the middle of mayhem. This has a rhythmic quality to it that is just perfect for head banging and moshing. Angela sounds literally possessed on this song…I have never heard her sound more angry and demented. This is remarkable!!!! The slight electronic sounds that pop up on this track are a surprise, but make it incredible!!!

We Are A Godless Entity—-Coming out of the dark with a rather ominous and deep bass intro, the song begins like an unworldly ballad that is set for modern times. The track takes a bit to get going…but once the entire band kicks in, there is an underlying melody that will stick in your brain for a very long time. This is huge and epic……the track will not let you down and is perhaps one of the best and remarkable little interludes I have ever heard.

Cult Of Chaos—-Melding magically from the previous interlude, the time to play is over. this is brutal…driving, aggressive and will leave you feeling like you just got a beatdown!!! This is fantastic….Angela sounds literally possessed and delivers some screams that must have left her voice raw. This is brutal….fantastic and left me in a heap on the floor!!!!

Thorns In My Flesh—-With little time to catch your breath, this is right out of the gate the most aggressive track on this CD. The band and the vocal begin during the VERY first second of the song and never gives you respite for the entire length. the energy and the brutality is incredible…but the song still manages to have a structure and a feel to it that allows for an underlying melody. This is fantastic!!!!

Turn To Dust/Vengeance Is Mine—-Returning to a more somber and low-key intro, the band begins with a slow almost electric acoustic feel for the introduction…it rather made me smile…..I knew it would not last too long…and I was right. This drummer is just stellar…I love the urgency and the rapid fire delivery….besides the vocal, the drums are the true star of this ENTIRE release….I love it. The vocal is as you have come to expect…the leads on this track are exceptional though…this is a seasoned sounding band…the fingers are moving fast as hell on this song….I love this shit!!!!

Secrets—-Huge and epic in sound from the very first notes of the song, this dissolves into mayhem and a remarkable almost Industrial sounding track that made me smile even more than the rest of the record. This is stron….but the vocal seems removed to the back a bit on this song…the leads are so in your face it is almost impossible to hear anything else. Still, this is stellar and WAY better than I expected!!!!

 **** 1/2 out of 5


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