Arch Enemy

Copenhell - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Arch Enemy made a huge splash in the metal headlines a few months ago when long time vocalist Angela Gossow announced her retirement from the front of the band. Keeping with the female vocalist style which has brought them their biggest success, Arch Enemy together with Gossow found her replacement in the 11 years younger ex-The Agonist frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz.
Despite the explosion of fan-rage that followed, it piqued my interest for the show – I’ve never been a fan of Gossow’s, and figured that a bit of change couldn’t hurt.

“I want a bigger fucking pit and I want to hear you scream fucking louder!”
- Alissa White-Gluz (vocals)

Arch Enemy hit the Hades stage at 8 p.m. in front of a very large and very expectant crowd. Yesterday Is Dead And Gone was the song that set the tone for the gig, and the band was eager to show off their new talent.
The delivery was definitely better than usual as the entire band seemed lit and was actively participating in the performance, playing up against each other or delivering some excellent poses, especially band leader and guitarist Michael Amott and bassist Sharlee D’Angelo had a lot of fun together. White-Gluz was also delivering the goods when it came to the performance, and she did what she could to get the crowd going.
The problem was that it didn’t look like the Copenhell crowd were too eager to greet her with open arms, as it were – sure, there was some action in the front rows like there always is, no matter who’s playing, but the bulk of the crowd stood rather still and watched the show without taking much part in it themselves.

Why one is led to wonder, why indeed.
Well, White-Gluz did deliver performance ways as I’ve already mentioned, but in the equally important aspect of the vocals the picture was somewhat different. Or to put it in not so fine words, she was fucking weak!
Now, I’m not what you would call familiar with her back-catalogue, so I can’t make the call on whether this was a one-time blunder or if this is how she actually sounds (I do know that the Hades stage had a general sound problem for many of the bands playing there, Arch Enemy included), but I hope for the bands, and her, sake that things will improve from what we heard this day, if for nothing else than to prove all the fan-ragers wrong in that Gossow was irreplaceable.
As it was, I will give the bands props for looking like they were really enjoying themselves on the stage, more than usual, but once again they didn’t manage to deliver anything that stuck with me for a longer time than it took me to leave (early) to get a good position for the evenings headliner over at the Helvíti stage...

Setlist (incomplete):

Yesterday Is Dead And Gone
War Eternal

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