“The greatest challenge for me is to keep improving every aspect of the compositions and arrangements,” says ARCH ENEMY founder/guitarist Michael Amott about new album, War Eternal.
“I’m always searching for ‘the perfect ARCH ENEMY song.’ When I started the band in 1995 I had the idea to create the most heavy melodic band of all time.”
And he did. Over the course of 19 years, ARCH ENEMY, under Amott’s guidance, crafted 10 acclaimed full-lengths, dominated sales charts, and toured the globe. If Amott were a smart man, he’d retire now to some tropical island with his favorite Michael Schenker records in tow and the setting sun on his face.
But neither he nor ARCH ENEMY are done. Not by a long shot.
With vocalist Alissa White-Gluz replacing long-time frontwoman Angela Gossow in 2014 respectively, War Eternal is ARCH ENEMY reborn. “Changes in the band lineup are hardly ever looked upon favorably by the fans,” Amott acknowledges, “which I completely understand. Nonetheless, it does happen and the changes that have been made in the ARCH ENEMY camp were necessary in order for the band to survive and keep going. I love the energy of working with new people and Alissa has certainly brought a lot of talent and enthusiasm to the band!”
When Amott recruited Angela Gossow to front ARCH ENEMY for the Wages of Sin effort, he changed extreme metal forever. With White-Gluz, he has a new weapon. She’s a veritable firebrand on War Eternal, her unrelenting roar, cruel rasp and unique looks are the mark of a woman ready to conquer the world. “My goal is to keep ARCH ENEMY alive and thriving!” White-Gluz exclaims. “I want to open a whole new chapter for ARCH ENEMY, powerful and diverse, all the while respecting the legions of fans that love traditional ARCH ENEMY. Fans can expect loads of pure fucking metal.”
At 13 tracks, War Eternal is the quintessential ARCH ENEMY album. It’s both a nostalgic nod to the band’s past (“Never Forgive, Never Forget”, “No More Regrets”) and stunning example of what’s possible in the future (“Down to Nothing”, “Time is Black”). But if there’s a standout track—a spearhead—it’s the title song. Unveiled to the world on Youtube, “War Eternal” marches defiantly against the mundane, two raised fists to the constraints of society and the cage it desperately tries to put on us all. In it, White-Gluz proves she’s the next generation of great, while Amott and the rest of ARCH ENEMY play as if “War Eternal” is their last song. That “War Eternal” amassed an astonishing 1.5 million views the first 10 days is telling of its conviction and power. “There are a lot of details in this album that excite me as a songwriter and guitarist,” Amott grins. “Personally, I’ve pushed myself harder as player on War Eternal and feel I’ve gone to another level this time, which is very rewarding. I actually think the whole band has kicked everything up a notch or two.”
Produced by the band and mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Paradise Lost) at Fascination Street Studio, the Swedes’ 10th full-length is unrelentingly brutal yet remarkably polished. “We could afford any big name producer at this stage in the game,” says Amott. “Having the band produce the album was a natural and logical way of working for us at this point. It was critical that we bring out the true ARCH ENEMY sound, the essence of the band on this record and who knows that better than us? Jens Bogren did an outstanding mixing and mastering the album. It was my first time working with him and I am more than impressed with his talent.”
The album was hailed as “Album Of The Month” in Terrorizer (UK), Powerplay (UK), Metal Hammer (Germany), Rock Hard (France), Metallian (France), Scream (Norway), Sweden Rock (Sweden) and got more than positive reviews all over the world; additionally, War Eternal achieved career-best chart positions for the band in the USA (#44), Germany (#9), Finland (#5), France (#56), and The Netherlands (#36), plus the best UK chart entry (#85) since Doomsday Machine (#81). ARCH ENEMY were also honored to appear on the front covers of Revolver (USA), Legacy (Germany), Rock Hard (France), Inferno (Finland), Up (Netherlands), Aardschok (Netherlands), Metal Maniac (Italy), Pro Rock (Bulgaria), Into The Pit (Thailand) and many more magazines.
Right after the release of War Eternal, the band kicked off their eternal touring with sublime festival shows at Wacken, Sweden Rock and many more, followed by a world tour with Kreator (with whom they released a split 7″ single later in October 2014).
During the USA headline tour with Kreator, the band decided to part ways with guitarist Nick Cordle. Christopher Amott (the brother of ARCH ENEMY founder/bandleader Michael Amott) joined the band for the remainder of their American headlining tour and Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore) stepped in for the following European dates with Kreator. Jeff will continue for another busy year in 2015 and beyond.
Jeff Loomis states: “I’m very excited to be playing with ARCH ENEMY. Michael Amott and I have stayed in contact over the years since we toured together when I was playing in Nevermore. Not only do I admire his guitar playing and songwriting, but I also consider him a close friend. To be able to share the stage with Michael, Sharlee, Daniel and Alissa is something I’m really looking forward to. 2015 is going to be a great year… See you all on tour!”
Michael Amott (guitars) comments: “The prospect of working with Jeff Loomis moving forward is truly awesome! Jeff Loomis is one of the best guitar players in the metal world in my opinion, as well as being a long time friend. I look forward to tearing it up on stages around the world together as we continue on the ‘War Eternal’ touring cycle throughout all next year and beyond!”
There is no doubt that ARCH ENEMY are stronger than ever before. And the war is not over yet.