Arch Enemy

Metaldays - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Arch Enemy was back at Slovenia’s premium metal festival for a third attack.
Things have happened though, and since their last visit, the festival have changed its name, and the band have changed frontwoman and one guitarist. So, how would this new meet up between two good old friends go? Would they even recognise each other?

“Metaldays, we are Arch Enemy, and this is fucking war!”
- Alissa White-Gluz (vocals)

Well, Metaldays was certainly ready to welcome Arch Enemy back onto their main stage, that much was easy to see!
In addition to seeing their shirts worn by an alarming amount of people during the day, we now saw that in front of the stage, the largest crowd of the day had gathered, and they were ready for action!
And action is exactly what the band got – I hadn’t seen this wild a crowd the entire day, and they were a good contender for the entire festival as well! Already at the very beginning of the show, arms were raised in the front, further back a huge moshpit tore into the gathered masses, and above it all there was a constant bombardment of crowdsurfers coming down the middle as well as on the very edges of the audience.
Since Arch Enemy held the enviable position of headliner of the day, they had a longer than usual time to play in (based on the average length of a festival gig), and yet the wild crowd never let up. From start to finish, almost everyone was very actively partaking in the liveliness of this hard-hitting spectacle. But how about the band, were they living up to the praise?

Well, Arch Enemy was certainly ready to take Metaldays for one hell of a ride, that much was easy to see!
I have previously praised new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz for her stage persona, and once again, this is what really stole the show. White-Gluz is excellent in handling herself on the stage, handling the crowd in front of the stage, and handling her band-mates all over the stage! Her vocal abilities didn’t weigh in much – she does the job, but it’s nothing memorable.
Jeff Loomis, previously of Nevermore among other bands, we were also introduced to the last time we saw them, and much like White-Gluz vocals, he gets the job done, but never steals the light from the frontwoman’s performance. The band in general did pretty good when it came to performing actually, but it was not special enough to make the history books, not even the once only dealing with this particular day. Still, the crowd loved every second of it.

So, why is it that Arch Enemy receives so much appreciation from the general metal crowd?
Honestly, I have no fucking clue. This is quite possibly the most overrated band of this day and age, and let’s be honest here – if they had a man instead of a woman fronting them, equal in quality on all aspects, they would be nowhere right now. Nowhere at all. I’ll give them the fact that they paved the way for women to front extreme metal bands (they weren’t the first, but they were the ones to make it big), but now we want something more than a gimmick. We want quality, we want surprises – we don’t want another snorefest of extreme predictability.

Setlist (incomplete):

Stolen Life
My Apocalypse
As The Pages Burn

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