Scrawl from The Saw’s Butcher Shop: Arch Enemy — House of Mirrors SINGLE REVIEW

What’s up, Butcher Crew?! It’s ya girl, The Saw. Did you hear (and see) that Arch Enemy dropped their second standalone single and video? Just a few weeks after releasing the bop, “Deceiver, Deceiver,” Arch Enemy have released, “House of Mirrors.” 

Michael Amott (founding guitarist) said that he had a guitar intro that he’d been working on for a while. At one point, his brother, Chris Amott (Dark Tranquility), added a piece to it. Once he had a good cut of the song, he and Daniel (Erlansson, drums) made a solid demo of the track and sent it to Alyssa (White-Gluz, vocals). Amott says that she sent back the perfect lyrical arrangement for the song. 

White-Gluz says the song is about the dark twists of the human psyche. The lyrics were written within the context of dystopian isolation, loneliness (are we really alone?), and the haunting question of one’s reflection in the mirror – “Who is that stranger?” Being surrounded only with past and future versions of yourself can lead down dark paths. 

“House of Mirrors” begins with that guitar intro phrase, and bursts into a galloping riff, with a clean holler from White-Gluz. The main riff has an 80s feel; a ghost of Iron Maiden back in the day. The drumming and vocal delivery, though, is something far beyond revisiting the past. Arch Enemy take a familiar sound and transform it into a melodic haunting. My favorite part of the song is the Bridge. It’s a breakdown with a tight riff, a great vocal presentation of low register accentuated with screams, and a spiraling guitar take off. This isn’t the 80s! The song arrangement is a perfect vehicle for the lyrical content. Brilliant! 

Some stand-out lyrics from the song:

  • See the choice, it lies before you. A simple flick of the wrist.
  • Blank doors keep the world at bay. Or do they keep the outside in? 

[Chorus] – Renegade are reflections made across a sharpened blade. In a House of Mirrors you’re never alone. Welcome home!

  • The walls silently watch you. Are you watching them back? 

[Bridge] – You’ll run, you’ll hide, or try to. But we all reside inside you. 

  • Suspicious simulacra distort your flesh and bone. 

We have no word (yet) on a full-length release from Arch Enemy. I guess I’ll keep these two singles on repeat! Be sure to check out the videos, “Deceiver, Deceiver” and “House of Mirrors,” too! 

Stay Metal,

THE SAW