Review by Death8699 on October 31, 2019.
Definitely better than Khaos Legions without a doubt. Arch Enemy steps up with fury on here. Alissa sounds like a replica of Angela though with moderate variety. The music and intensity are strong and the compositions are reflecting of older AE, sticking to the core of melodic death metal. Nick, their new guitarist replacing the amazing Christopher Amott, did a superb job here. I still favor Christopher, but his endeavors are different now that he's no longer with the band.
If this is to be the last AE, it would be a tragedy. I'm hoping with this newer lineup they still have some more albums to belt out. The music on here is a blend of the first 4 albums and the bonus track "Shadow On the Wall" is a good cover. The guitars are heavy, and the lyrics are brutal reflecting the songwriting from Michael and Nick. I'd say most of the guitars are in C, making them thick and chunky. There is a mixture too with keys as intros among outros with melodic guitars.
Here it seems like the ideas of the past have reiterated themselves, especially reminiscent of Burning Bridges especially on the outro song entitled "Not Long For This World." Very much like Burning Bridges outro track. The album intro is a lot like what you'd hear from something Cradle of Filth would do. Not saying that they're copying them, just with the keys/synthesizers are much like that of COF. Track 2 belts out some ferocious guitar and vocals not to mention tremendous blast beating that's only on this track.
The leads by Nick are quite technical and well composed and Michael's are like that of his traditional approach to his "feel" like talents. He is less technical than Nick in the lead department. It's good that the band decided to put out a couple of music videos before the album was released in the states. It gave a good feel for what was ahead to hear on here with no surprises. Their path once again isn't reinventing the genre, just doing a praise for it, never abandoning their roots. Alissa's energy is reflecting of Angela's. Deep throat to about the same degree.
I especially like the title track (which is a given) and "You Will Know My Name", of which they also did a video for. These were 2 tracks that glorified the album. The heavy guitars accompanying the intensity of the vocals were quite in unison. All of the tracks to me are good, bar chords, tremolo picking galore, hardcore shredding and music that is with a huge amount of feel thanks to all of the band member's efforts. I think that seeing those videos beforehand gave me hope that this would surpass their previous by a ton!
If your thing is melody mixed with heaviness and production quality that is superb without sacrificing talent in the overuse of technology, War Eternal is some great melodic death metal. The heavy guitar alongside the melodies really shine here, going back to the older days. I still feel no one can replace Christopher Amott, but Nick is quite good, implementing some impressive solos and songwriting ideas. Michael sure picked someone also to emulate Angela. Alissa's intensity is sure there like Angela's was. The band doesn't go mainstream here, they remain true!
Rating: 8.5 out of 10392