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Arch Enemy: blurring the line between turbo-thrash avant-punk extremism and Eurovision

Serious death metal Swedes Arch Enemy indulge their symphonic Eurovision side on 11th album Deceivers



Fronted by straight-edge Canadian vegan Alissa White-Gluz, Swedish melodic death metallers Arch Enemy make unlikely recruits to Satan’s stampeding stormtrooper hordes. 

Edging ever closer to the delirious pomposity of symphonic metal, these veteran Nordic nihilists sound both technically precise and comically preposterous on their eleventh studio album, but with a ferocious hardcore edge that makes them difficult to dismiss as pure pantomime. 

As White-Gluz swerves effortlessly between clean pop-rock vocals and guttural porcine grunting while ex-Carcass guitarist Michael Arnott cranks out the overdriven multi-tracked flamethrower fretwork, thunderous electro-orchestral battle anthems like Deceiver, Deceiver and Spreading Black Wings blur the line between Eurovision uber-kitsch and turbo-thrash avant-punk extremism.

There is wistful Celtpop yearning here too, amid all the gravel-voiced bellowing. Indeed, spangled folk-metal epics like The Watcher and Poisoned Arrow could almost be Enya, albeit a fire-breathing, nail-gargling, skull-splitting version of Enya shat forth from the rank-smelling depths of Beelzebub’s very own flame-grilled anus. In other words, fun for all the family