The Root Of All Evil
28 September 2008
by Tom Gibbons
No-one could accuse Arch Enemy of not making the most out of their back catalogue – this year alone has seen them re-release Burning Bridges and Stigmata, as well as Manifesto, a Best-Of compilation. But the band have gone perhaps a step too far with The Root Of All Evil. You’ve got to wonder if they just thought “fuck it, why not release yet another batch of re-hashed melodic death metal ‘classics’ and split the cash”?
What we have here is a selection of tracks lifted from Black Earth, Stigmata and Burning Bridges, only re-recorded with the not-so-ugly Angela Gossow on vocal duties instead of original gruffster, Johan Liiva. Which vocalist works for you is purely a matter of individual taste; if you’re into the latest Arch Enemy material and can’t be fucked with going through their 90s back catalogue, then we guess this is for you. Andy Sneap has mixed and mastered The Root of All Evil as close as you can get to perfection for this genre – but this perk is its only real edge over the originals.
New vocals aside, the songs’ scope and texture remains fairly basic, but the delivery on killer tracks like ‘Bury Me An Angel’ is as precise, dynamic and as powerful as you’d come to expect from a leading popular metal band. A highlight is the Amott brothers’ showcase of immense guitar-playing through some seriously badass widdly-widdly solos – albeit over some pretty generic bog-standard metal chord patterns.
Watch Thrash Hits TV: Arch Enemy @ Bloodstock 2009
Cynics (What? Us?) might view this album as a mercenary attempt to to squeeze a few more sales out of a loyal fanbase, or perhaps as a band’s attempt to edit their past. Just make sure you weigh up the context of the album’s importance to you before purchase – there ain’t nothing new here, good as it maybe.
Sounds like: Arch Enemy, obviously.
Top Tracks: Bury Me An Angel, Dark Insanity, Diva Satinica
Arch Enemy – The Root Of All Evil tracklisting
The Root Of All Evil (Intro)
Beast Of Man
Bury Me An Angel