Arch Enemy (February 14th, 2023)

February 16, 2023 - Gig Reviews

Reviewer: Bec Scheucher
Show: Arch Enemy/Valhalore
Date: Tuesday February 14th, 2023
Location: The Gov, Adelaide
Photos: Jodie Johannsen

Nothing screams romance like a good Metal show on Valentine’s Day, and Adelaide were lucky enough to score Swedish Death Metal giants Arch Enemy back in Australia for the first time in five years for this very special/annoying if you’re single day. Selling out The Gov, Arch brought an army of battle vests and blue hair that were spilling out into the beer garden which for a Tuesday night in this city is highly impressive, and I dare say their almighty sound was almost too big for our favourite little venue to handle.

Opening the night were Folk metal outfit Valhalore from Brisbane who secured national support and for good reason. Commanding the crowd with their heavy blend of power metal, melodic flute, theatrical vocals and death growls, Valhalore gave a quality performance that blew everyone away and set the mood for the epic and otherworldly journey ahead.

Arch Enemy entered the stage to an almighty roar from the crowd and the opening ominous tones of ‘Deceiver, Deceiver’ before Alissa White-Gluz acknowledged the audience and got right to it. Despite her small stature, dressed in leather and spikes she looks as if she could kill a man and her stage presence is energetic and captivating, as she jumps around twirling her microphone stand and windmilling her iconic blue hair. They moved straight into fan favourite ‘The World is Yours’ and for the first time in a long time I had goosebumps. Alissa’s vocals are an absolute mind-blowing treasure that would honestly give Mariah Carey a run for her money, and it begs the question how such a petite human can make such brutal noises and so effortlessly.

Moving onto their newer material with ‘In the Eye of the Storm’ and ‘House of Mirrors’ we got to hear Alissa’s powerful clean vocals which are flawless and an absolute delight to witness live. It is obvious that the band have moved on from their War Eternal days and evolved to a more diverse and refined style, with guitarists Mike Arnott and Jeff Loomis delivering extreme riffs and speed metal solos reminiscent of Arnott’s Carcass days. They weaved through their older most popular material even speeding things up in tempo for tracks ‘Blood on Your Hands’ and “As the Pages Burn’ while heavily focusing on exhibiting their fresh new sound.

The entire hour and a half set was a dense and satisfying performance and not surprisingly, Arch Enemy performed the whole thing without falter. Finishing the night with ‘Nemisis’ it was almost a homage to their origins and a fitting conclusion, evoking the comradery and enthusiasm of the crowd as effectively as any motivational speaker would- but with some seriously heavy blasts behind it. Unsurprisingly, the night went off and reaffirmed my opinion that Arch Enemy are one of the most stunning Metal performances out and one that everyone should witness at least once.

Our interview with Sharlee D’Angelo


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