"Will to Power"

By Theron Moore

Here’s the wonderful thing about being me.  I could care less if something is nu metal, old metal, metalcore, whatever.  As long as it rocks, as long as it’s heavy, that’s all that matters to me.  And Arch Enemy’s “Will to Power,” is pretty scorching.  Truth be told, I’ve been a fan since their “Doomsday Machine” record and what keeps me coming back to this band is the fact that I think they’re the best at what they do and in my humble opinion they deserve all the accolades they get and more.  “Will to Power” is an ass kickin’ record, give the band praise.  

Arch Enemy treads that fine line between melodic, thrash and power.  I’ve always disagreed with the band being tagged melodic death metal, which to me is just a lazy assessment of who they are and what they do.   One of the strongest tracks on this record is “The Eagle Flies Alone” which has an amazing amount of heaviness due in part to the sheer strength and aggression in Alissa White-Gluz’s vocals and the masterful guitar work of Michael Amott’s working in synch together.  It’s metal, folks, it’s all it is.  And it’s good.  

In fact, the next song after, “Reason to Believe” finds White-Gluz crossing back and forth between clean vox and her deathly growl that seemingly, beyond human comprehension, somehow lives inside her.  Amott’s guitar work is subtle but still a wall of metallic sound that cuts through the air like a possessed chainsaw.  But melodic death metal?  Nah.  How about skull crushing metal?  Yeah, that’s something I can live with.

I’m a big Arch Enemy fan because the band just gets better year after year, with each record they put out.  I’ve said it before, this is where MTV has failed our metal community because if we had a “Headbanger’s Ball,” Arch Enemy would be huge and “Will to Power” would hit gold status.  It’s a killer, heavy record, but I doubt mainstream radio will touch it, not counting college, or niche, or internet radio, obviously.  I mean, why play a killer tune like “The Eagle Flies Alone” when AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” gets played for the bazillionth time, right?  

Unfortunately, “Will to Power,” as well as Arch Enemy, will probably fly under the radar here stateside because, quite frankly, we’re metal snobs.  “Nu metal, metalcore, hell, that band sucks, right?”  Wrong.   We think too small, our tunnel vision limits us, keeps us sheltered from discovering great music like this.  

The good news, is, if “Will to Power” is your first exposure to this band, you’ll really dig this record and then seek out their back catalog.  White-Gluz’s vocals are weapons hot, Amott’s guitar is as good or better than Mustaine on his best day, and with the addition of Jeff Loomis to the band, there’s every reason to get excited about metal all over again.  I can’t think of too many other melodic / power / thrash bands that sound as good as Arch Enemy does on “Will to Power.”  Do you really need more reasons to buy this record?