ARCH ENEMY - Khaos Legion [Review]

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Label: Century Media Records

Released: May 30th, 2011

Reviewer: Spiritcrusher

Arch Enemy needs no introduction. The impact they’ve made on metal is almost second to none. It is almost hard to find a metal fan who cannot recognize Angela Gossow’s vocals, Michael Amott’s beautifully phrased melodies, Chris Amott’s insane solos, Sharlee D’Angelo’s ripping bass riffs, and Daniel Erlandsson’s skull-smashing beats. Whether one is a fan of Arch Enemy or not, nobody can deny that Arch Enemy will be remembered as one of the greatest melodic death metal bands of all time.

It’s been a really long time since we last had an Arch Enemy album out. After “Rise of the Tyrant” success in 2007, I personally had no idea what else they could come up with. I felt like after using somewhat similar formulas since “Anthems of Rebellion”, the new album could be a huge surprise to us all. After “The Root of All Evil” disappointing me (and most other Liiva fans) for being nothing more than just a series of Arch Enemy classics that are overproduced, I definitely started looking forward to the new album. They had to make this one count. I think they did a good job, but I started listening to Burning Bridges and Wages of Sin a week after listening to the new album. Most Arch Enemy fans are going to hate me for this, but I really think they could have done a much better job with “Khaos Legions”.

Arch Enemy is back, raising the black flag of anarchism. Let the revolution begin; we will rise! …Sounds slightly familiar, no?


The first thing I heard about the new album was in a short interview with Michael Amott on Terrorizer Magazine (I think). I remember him saying that the new album will have lots of elements of black metal and hardcore punk, and that it’s a bit of a step back to their roots. I thought it would be interesting. I do recall some black metal moments in some of their music (most notably in I Am Legend/Out For Blood).

Once I heard the album, I really couldn’t notice THAT much of a difference, although they were noticeable in various songs. “Cruelty Without Beauty” is filled with blastbeats and chorus with keyboards (courtesy of Per Wiberg) that give you chills.

Some of the songs were really weak to my standards. I thought Yesterday Was Dead and Gone could have been a lot more impressive. It started off pretty neatly, and got into some good moments, but I thought the chorus was weak and that the melodies were nothing very unique. I think most die-hard Arch Enemy fans will notice that in some of the songs on this album.

Needless to say, the drums are still brilliant, the bass breaks into the mix like a savage beast, and the guitar solos give me chills down my spine time and time again, most notably Bloodstained Cross. Michael Amott started off with a beautiful Baroque-style melody building up into a beautiful signature Amott solo with bends and beautiful phrasing. The three instrumentals on the track are very beautiful as well; I do wish they were a minute or two longer!


Simply put, I always enjoyed Arch Enemy’s lyrics. I think the best lyrical efforts were on “Wages of Sin”, but I do enjoy the hooks they’ve had since then. I think they did a good job with Khaos Legions lyrically, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary, should we compare it to some of their previous albums. It’s all about revolution and the rise of the masses. I think one of the weaker lyrical efforts is on No Gods, No Masters. Otherwise, I think Cult of Chaos has some pretty strong lyrics.


I liked this album, but it didn’t stick to me the way the others did. I find myself still listening to Burning Bridges and Wages of Sin like they were released yesterday, as well as various tracks from Doomsday Machine and Rise of the Tyrant. With the 4-year break they had to get this album done, I thought it could have been a bit better. It’s definitely worth buying and listening. The acoustic rendition of Wages of Sin’s Snowbound is really awesome as well, which I believe is not available on all formats.

Favorite songs:

  • Cult of Chaos
  • Bloodstained Cross

Weakest songs:

Final word:

Some of the songs will grow on you, some will hit you instantly….but, some will easily be forgotten.

I give this album a 7.5/10 … 7.5 with slight optimism that I’ll enjoy it more with time.

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