Arch Enemy is a Swedish melodic deathcore band from Halmstad in 1996. Originally a supergroup the band has released nine studio albums and three EP's. The band released their debut album, Black Earth, on December 12, 1996 with original vocalist Johan Liiva. The band's most recent release, Khaos Legions, on May 30, 2011 with current vocalist Angela Gossow.
Formation and Black Earth (1996 - 1997)Edit
Founded in 1996 by Michael Amott after he left Carcass. He and his younger brother Christopher of Armageddon joined with vocalist Johan Liiva of Carnage, Furbowl, and Devourment and then-session drummer Daniel Erlandsson of Eucharist in what Michael called "an attempt to merge melody with aggression and technicality".
The band's debut studio album, Black Earth was recorded in Studio Fredman and released by the now defunct Wrong Again Records in 1996. It obtained a fair amount of success in Japan, achieving MTV rotation with their first single "Bury Me an Angel", as well as moderate success in Sweden. At this point, Arch Enemy was more of a "solo effort" than a full band; Michael Amott wrote all the songs himself, and even played bass guitar on the album, contrary to the album's liner notes, which listed vocalist Johan Liiva as handling bass duties. Amott later revealed that he had the credits listed that way to make the album seem more of a "band" effort. Many consider it to be the band's most aggressive album, a trait that was softened to some degree on its following releases, but never abandoned.
Stigmata, Burning Bridges and Gossow (1998 - 2000)Edit
After the release of Black Earth the band switched labels, signing a contract with Century Media. In 1998 Arch Enemy released Stigmata, for which bassist Martin Bengtsson and drummer Peter Wildoer joined the band. The album caught the attention of a wider audience, gaining popularity in both Europe and America. This was also the first Arch Enemy album to be released worldwide.
In 1999, Sharlee D'Angelo assumed the role of Arch Enemy's bassist, and Daniel Erlandsson was once again recruited to handle drum duties, this time on a permanent basis. Burning Bridges was released, and was soon followed by the live album Burning Japan Live 1999, which was initially a release limited to Japan, but later given worldwide distribution due to strong demand. During the touring-cycle for Burning Bridges, Sharlee D'Angelo was temporarily replaced twice; first by Dick Lövgren of Meshuggah, and Armageddon and then by Roger Nilsson of Spiritual Beggars, Firebird and The Quill. Burning Bridges marked a shift in Arch Enemy's core sound, now opting for a more melodic approach, while still keeping the original melodic death metal-sound first heard on the first two albums.
In November 2000, vocalist Johan Liiva was asked to quit the band. Michael Amott stated that the he wanted more dynamics from the band's frontman, and that Liiva's live performance was not up to par with the rest of the band. Liiva was soon replaced by amateur German journalist and death metal vocalist Angela Gossow, who had given a demo tape to Christopher Amott earlier that year during an interview she had conducted with him. Gossow proved to be a talented vocalist and has been with the band ever since.
Wages of Sin and Anthem of Rebellion (2001 - 2004)Edit
The first album with songs featuring Gossow was Wages of Sin, released in 2001. This is also the first album where the band used C tuning, which they have kept until the present. In December of the same year, Arch Enemy took part in the "Japan's Beast Feast 2002" concert, playing alongside Slayer and Motörhead.
Anthems of Rebellion was released in 2003 and brought some innovations, such as the use of a second voice singing in harmony; such as in the "End of the Line" and "Dehumanization" tracks. In November of the following year, the band released the EP Dead Eyes See No Future, which featured live recordings, along with covers of Manowar, Megadeth and Carcass songs. In June 2004, the band embarked upon Japan touring with Japanese act Edge of Spirit.
Doomsday Machine (2005 - 2007)Edit
In June 2005, Arch Enemy finished the recording for their sixth album, Doomsday Machine. In July 2005, guitarist Christopher Amott left the band in order to focus on his personal life. He was temporarily replaced by guitarist Gus G. of Ozzy Osbourne and Firewind and then by Fredrik Åkesson in September 2005. Christopher returned on a permanent basis in March 2007, shortly before the band entered the studio to begin recording their new album with producer Fredrik Nordström (who has produced for acts such as In Flames and Soilwork). Åkesson went on to become Opeth's new lead guitarist in May 2007. An album from Arch Enemy's earlier work, Black Earth, was reissued on April 24, 2007, with Liiva's vocals.
Rise of the Tyrant (2007 - 2008)EditArch Enemy's seventh album, entitled Rise of the Tyrant was released on September 24, 2007 in Europe and September 25, 2007 in the United States. Rise of the Tyrant debuted at number 84 on the Billboard 200 chart. This surpassed the Doomsday Machine chart entry, making it the band's highest charting effort to date. Gossow said the new album has more emotion and less double vocals, as well as less vocal processing, yielding a more "raw" presentation.
Arch Enemy played the Bloodstock Open Air Festival in August 2007, between Sabbat and In Flames. They then performed on the Black Crusade tour at the end of 2007 with Machine Head, Trivium, DragonForce and Shadows Fall. With this, as Michael Amott reported on the band's website, "These will be the first European shows we do with Arch Enemy after the release of our new album".
On March 8, 2008, Arch Enemy filmed a live show in Tokyo, Japan for the live DVD Tyrants of the Rising Sun. Arch Enemy also co-headlined the "Defenders of the Faith" tour in April 2008 with Opeth, while DevilDriver and 3 Inches of Blood opened for them. They then headlined the "Tyranny and Bloodshred" tour in May 2008 with Dark Tranquillity, Divine Heresy, and Firewind as supporting acts.
The Root of All Evil (2009 - 2010)EditArch Enemy's eighth album titled The Root of All Evil was released on September 28, 2009 in Europe, September 30 in Japan, and October 6 in the United States. The Root of All Evil features twelve re-recorded songs spanning the band's career before Gossow joined as vocalist, with some material pre-dating D'Angelo as their bassist. In the first half of 2009, the band toured Europe and South America, and then played at the annual "Dubai Desert Rock Festival" alongside Opeth, Chimaira, and Motörhead. Following the release of The Root of All Evil on September 28, 2009, the band embarked on an Asian and Australian tour, which included their first visit to New Zealand. The tour started at the "Loud Park festival" in Japan on October 17, supplementing other acts including Megadeth, Judas Priest, Slayer, Anthrax, Rob Zombie and Children of Bodom. They also toured in South Korea on October 25, headlining at the Melon AX Hall in Seoul, supported by Fatal Fear.
Khaos Legions (2011 - present)EditAccording to a September 2010 interview with Angela Gossow, Arch Enemy entered the studio on December 1 to begin recording their ninth album for a release in June 2011, according to the band's website. The title for the new album is Khaos Legions. The first single from the album was released on the Century Media Records website on March 31, entitled "Yesterday is Dead and Gone". The album was released on 31 May 2011. On December 12th, the band announced that they would be filming a show in Cologne the following day for an upcoming live DVD entitled "World Khaos Tour".
On March 3, 2012 it was announced on the band's Facebook page that Christopher Amott had once again departed from the band. He was replaced by Nick Cordle from Arsis. Arch Enemy released their 3rd music video from Khaos Legions on April 25th, 2012 for "Under Black Flags We March". Not only does Nick Cordle appear in the video, he also recorded a new guitar solo over the original by Chris Amott, making this his debut track with the band.
- Angela Gossow - lead vocals
- Michael Amott - lead & rhythm guitars (1996 - present), keyboards (2005 and 2007) and bass guitar (1996)
- Nick Cordle - lead & rhythm guitars (2012 - present)
- Sharlee D'Angelo - bass guitar (1999 - present)
- Daniel Erlandsson - drums (1996 and 1998 - present)
- Johan Liiva - lead vocals (1996 - 2000) and bass guitar (1996)
- Christopher Amott - lead & rhythm guitars (1996 - 2005 and 2007 - 2012)
- Fredrik Åkesson - lead & rhythm guitars (2005 - 2007)
- Martin Bengtsson - bass guitar (1997 - 1998)
- Peter Wildoer - drums (1997)
- Gus G. - lead & rhythm guitars (2005)
- Roger Nilsson - bass guitar (1999 - 2000)
- Dick Lövgren - bass guitar (1999)
- Per Wiberg - piano, grand piano and mellotron (1999 - 2001) and keyboards (2001 - present)
- Fredrik Nordström - keyboards (1996 - 1999)
- Black Earth (Wrong Again Records, December 12, 1996)
- Stigmata (Century Media Records, April 21, 1998)
- Burning Bridges (Century Media Records, May 21, 1999)
- Wages of Sin (Century Media Records, April 25, 2001)
- Anthems of Rebellion (Century Media Records, July 23, 2003)
- Doomsday Machine (Century Media Records, July 26, 2005)
- Rise of the Tyrant (Century Media Records, September 24, 2007)
- Khaos Legions (Century Media Records, May 30, 2011)
- Burning Angel (Century Media Records, March 6, 2002)
- Dead Eyes See No Future (Century Media Records, November 2, 2004)
- Revolution Begins (Century Media Records, August 31, 2007)
- Manifesto of Arch Enemy (Century Media Records, February 27, 2007)
- The Root of All Evil (Century Media Records, September 28, 2009)
- Burning Japan Live 1999 (Toy's Factory, December 5, 2000)
- Tyrants of the Rising Sun: Live in Japan (Century Media Records, November 26, 2008)