Why We Shouldn't Freak Out About Angela Leaving Arch Enemy

For those living under a rock, Swedish melodic death metal legends Arch Enemy have unveiled their new video featuring new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz (ex-The Agonist). We brought in guest writer, Sary Bibi, to give us his two cents on Arch Enemy's lineup change. Sary's commentary begins after the video.

If you missed the news, Arch Enemy have recruited Alissa White-Gluz, formerly of Canadian metal band The Agonist, to be the new frontwoman for Arch Enemy. Angela Gossow has stepped down to focus on her family and pursue other interests, though she did state she would remain the business manager for Arch Enemy.

This announcement took a lot of people by surprise, and a lot of fans have been quick to shoot down Alissa’s opportunity and talent based on some of her work with The Agonist. Particularly, people are worried that Alissa will be bringing clean vocals into a band like Arch Enemy which has never utilized them before. Based on their new song/video for “Eternal War”, these assumptions can be safely put to rest (for now). And to those still skeptical, I need to point out a few things.

Firstly, Angela Gossow is still the manager of the band and in that sense, she probably had a big role in selecting her replacement. She knows more than any other person what kind of person and vocal skills are needed for Arch Enemy. Based on the press release, it can also be inferred that Angela has tutored or even given vocal tips for Alissa throughout the years. So by picking Alissa as the replacement, Angela has given her own “blessing” and seal of approval that Alissa is worthy of the role of being the vocalist of Arch Enemy.

Secondly, while people only look at some songs of The Agonist and jumps to conclusions that she isn’t the right fit, people aren’t familiar enough with the band to recognize the immense talent Alissa has. Her vocal range is pretty impressive:

Alissa is very versatile vocally and cannot only do the type of vocals (high screams, low growls, etc) needed for Arch Enemy, but also a very talented range of clean vocals. As someone who has also seen The Agonist and Alissa live, she can definitely deliver a commanding and strong stage presence while flawlessly delivering the same type of vocals heard on their studio recordings.

Lastly, at the end of the day, she is the new vocalist for Arch Enemy and will be on the new album Eternal War. People will have to accept the change and give her a chance with an open mind. Is she Angela Gossow? Obviously not, but she’s definitely a good person to take the band forward and continue the strong musical legacy of Arch Enemy.

On the flipside, The Agonist have moved on and recruited Vicky Psarkis to replace Alissa. Not much is known about Vicky but vocal covers of The Agonist shows she has a lot of potential for the band.. Hopefully she’ll be able to move the band forward. (editors note: I wonder how Psarkis would sound with Arch Enemy...)

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