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The Black Crusade, Manchester, MEN Arena, 21 November 2007

Arch Enemy

Always a frustration of these 'shed-tours': if you're a fan of the 'support' bands you always feel short-changed.

Arch-Enemy barely played a half-hour set as part of 'The Black Crusade' (with Trivium and Machine Head topping the bill) and then it was pretty much a run through the shorter classics from the band's albums 'Anthems of Rebellion' and 'Wages of Sin' ('We Will Rise', 'Dead Eyes See No Future', 'Ravenous'), and only two tracks (the superb 'Revolution Begins' and 'Blood On Your Hands') were played off the excellent 'Rise Of The Tyrant'.

Whereas many female-fronted metal bands tend to veer towards Goth, Arch-Enemy is unique with Angela Gossow and her death metal vocals. Both novel and intriguing, just where does that noise come from? Allied to sound musicianship in the shape of the Amott brothers on guitars and it's a pretty irresistible package.

Arch Enemy

For us old stagers, I have to say the band's essentially melodic instrumental approach is somewhat strangled by the guttural vocals but that somehow misses the point and removes their USP.

Because of the half-hour set tonight, the band didn't allow themselves to expand musically. Hopefully the Swedes will return soon to the UK with a full tour in support of their current album.

Review by David Randall

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