Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Arch Enemy Debuts New Video From "War Eternal"

ARCH ENEMY - War EternalArch Enemy is back with a fourth new video from their album, War Eternal.

I love you guys, I really do... but what's going on with this one? It seems so discordant and doesn't flow at all. Alissa, we all know you're awesome, why the need to overdo your makeup in the majority of the videos featuring the band thus far? And what's up with the lyrics?

For the most part, a good song; solid, anyway - except for the hook. Wasn't a fan of the notes they chose to use for that "chorus" type part of the song. It was just too "uppity" or upbeat and positive-sounding for my liking. Don't get me wrong - I have no problems with lighter songs. I just don't expect to hear them from Arch Enemy.

I like my metal nice and dark, heavy, and unrelentingly grim, with maybe just a glimmer of hope thrown in to keep you guessing. This started off strong, but melted into a kind of confused dissonance after the first hook as if they had strayed from the beaten path into parts unfamiliar. The lyrics were nothing too phenomenal, either.

The video was done well, however, despite it looking almost exactly the same as the other video they put out right after they announced the departure of Angela Gossow. I will give them that. I dug the guitar solo at about 2:20 in, but the hook and the breakdown preceding the solo just didn't quite do it for me.

I dunno. I hate saying this about them because I love Arch Enemy and I love and respect Alissa White-Gluz as well as Angela Gossow and her decision to appoint her as the next AE vocalist. In all honesty, fifty percent of what I've heard off the album so far has been good stuff that I heartily enjoyed. The other fifty, including this, has been flat and uninspired.

Another gripe with this video is that Alissa White-Gluz uses the exact same makeup as she did with their video for the title track off the album, which was released shortly after they went public with their new choice of vocalist. It's the same makeup, same outfit, same overdone-looking demeanor all over again in what is essentially the same video to a different song.

She had reverted back to a more natural look in their video for "You Will Know My Name" which I loved and hoped she would keep going in future videos and performances. Alas, it was not to be... at least, not for this video or for the video of "War Eternal".

It's just too overdone for metal, in my opinion. There are ways you can go absolutely crazy with makeup and costume/apparel, stretch the boundaries, be original and whatnot and still not look overdone (as is usually the case with Dimmu Borgir and a plethora of other black metal outfits.. er, bands), but this is just not one of them. It's more fitting for a pop atmosphere. It could just be me, but it doesn't sit well at all.

Lastly, as much as I love her vocals, I wish they would allow some cleans in there despite it not having been a part of Arch Enemy's repertoire in the past. Her higher-pitched growls are not as pleasant as her lower ones, but I imagine that she limits how often she attempts a lower pitch as it may be hard for her to sustain that not having been accustomed to singing solely guttural vox.

Think what you will, that shit is hard. It's so hard that vocal teachers will advise their soprano-range students not to even attempt it due to the risk of permanent injury to their voice.

So, I can understand not wanting to do all low-pitch growls all the time. Why not offset the balance with some cleans? It would bring in something new, which is what appearances would suggest they are trying to do, and it would give those who aren't as much of a fan of her growls a reason to listen.

Then again, all just my opinion. It takes all kinds to make a world, and everyone has different tastes.

Great effort, Arch Enemy, but this was a miss for me. I'm sorry.

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