Sounding like a particularly rotten day during the apocalypse, Arch Enemy is a ferocious gang of Swedish death metalers bent on throttling their listeners, and they succeed most magnificently on Wages of Sin. The Scandinavians in general are known most for their allegiance to black metal: atmospheric, epic-sounding, satanic-leaning stuff which they invented. But Arch Enemy, who includes members and former members of Carcass, Armageddon, and Mercyful Fate, is more death than black, but there's a little bit of everything in their mix of Sepultura-like riffage; mid-'80s classic, over-the-top metal solos; meat-cleaver-style hooks; and dirty Florida swamp-style death metal. Of course, death metal can easily become monotonous, but this is not at all the case with Arch Enemy, whose songwriting is way above par. Wages of Sin is the first album from the band featuring their new singer, Angela Gossow, a German blonde whose vocals never sound as if they could possibly be emanating from a woman. Rather, they sound like a guttural blast from the sewers of purgatory. She is just the right touch to add to a band who ranks among metal's most progressive and unique outfits.
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AllMusic Review by Adam Bregman
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2