Arch Enemy

Live at The House of Blues

Hollywood, California

November 11th, 2014

Review and Photos by Travis Baumann

It was a sad day in the metal scene the day Angela Gassow announced that she would be stepping down as the lead singer of the seminal Extreme Metal band, Arch Enemy.

Angela has been a mainstay in the aggressive vocal department and one of the only women in the field for many years. She was one of my favorite lead singers to see live because of the decptively small, feminine frame hosting such a magnitude of vocal ferocity, it was just amazing to watch.

It was in the same announcement that she said they had found a replacment for her and that would be the vocal talent of Alissa White-Gluz. Angela said she was proud to pass the torch to such a taleneted vocalist and friend.

If you check out this website you will see I have been a fan of Alissa for quite some time as she was the lead singer of The Agonist, another great band with extreme vocals but which also showcased her ability to sing "clean" as it is known in the metal scene, and she was quite good at it.

It was with mixed emotions that I took this announcement as it meant that The Agonist would be singerless as well as that with Arch Enemy, Alissa most likely would be hanging up the melodic portion of her talent to take over the reigns of Angela's assault.

Since this major change in the band, they released the album, "War Eternal" featuring Alissa, and then embarked on the the world tour in support of it. I was excited when they announced the tour and with spectacular support acts in Kreator and Huntress, it was going to be a show not to miss.

The band took the stage with their intro music playing and the crowd went crazy. They opened up the set with "Enemy Within" and blasted us with all of the signature artillery Arch Enemy are famous for.

Alissa, while looking much different than Angela, belted out the lyrics with the same determination and ferocity that we always anticipate from the band; in fact if you closed your eyes, only slight nuances would really tip you off that it was not the same singer as on previous tours.

They followed up with "War Eternal" off of the newest album and then dove into a series of favorites from a number of albums in their back catalog. They played "Ravenous" leading into one of my all time favorites of theirs, "Revolution Begins" and then did another one of them with "My Apocalypse".

If Michael Amott knows one thing, it is how to play guitar and to say the least he shreds. Founding member and backbone of the band, he always brings it with his skills. His brother left the band since I saw them last so they had a new member on guitar but Sharlee D'Angelo was still present on bass and Daniel Erlandsson has been their drummer since the beginning.

From here they played "You Will Know My Name" followed by "Bloodstained Cross" and then another one of my favorites, "Under Black Flags We March". So far it was turning out to be an amazing set list.

Continuing in that vein, they performed "As the Pages Burn", "Dead Eyes See No Future" and then yet another off my wishlist, "No Gods, No Masters". They finished up the main set with "Dead Bury Their Dead" and the awesome, "We Will Rise"

The band left the stage while the instrumental "Khaos Overture" played but soon the crowd's enthusiastic chanting for Arch Enemy brought them back to the stage.

Upon returning they did "Yesterday Is Dead and Gone" followed by "Blood On Your Hands". It was an amazing set and just full of great songs. The band waved and left the stage.

No one in the audience had had enough and they kept chanting and cheering. The house lights did not come up so we all sat and applauded, persuading them to come out once again.

The band obliged and returned to the stage for a second encore. They performed "Snowbound" and then went into what probably is my absolute favorite of theirs, "Nemesis". Judging from the rest of the audience's reaction, I am not alone in that feeling.

They finished up with the outro "Fields of Desolation" and tossed their drum sticks, guitar picks, and sweat towels and then waved good night for the evening and departed.

I have to say, it was an amazing concert. They played eighteen songs, many of them on my wishlist. I really could not have been more satisfied.  I will always love Angela's performances and miss her as part of the band but Alissa did an amazing job and I look forward to seeing her the next time Arch Enemy come to town.

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