Scrawl from The Saw’s Butcher Shop: Arch Enemy — Deceivers (2022) ALBUM REVIEW

Welcome to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! Your Master Butcher, The Saw, is here with a New Album Review for Arch Enemy’s 11th studio album. After a brief delay, Deceivers (finally) dropped on August 12, 2022 via Century Media. And this record is a banger! There is a wide array of sounds, styles, tempos, structures, and composition on this Arch Enemy album; but Melodic Death Metal is on display, and it’s brilliant.

It’s been five years since we’ve had a new release from Arch Enemy. Will to Power was released in 2017 and ya girl was able to catch an Arch Enemy show (Check out the pics from the show!), back then, in Atlanta, GA. Deceivers is the product of those five years, and it is impressive. Sometimes, when a band has mastered their craft – their subgenre or micro-genre – things get so polished that there is no edge, anymore. This is NOT the case here! Arch Enemy have delivered one hell-of-a record! Musically, this is one of the band’s heaviest albums. And vocally, White-Gluz puts all of her talents on display – from her trademark “growls,” to cleans, and we even get to hear a blackened vocal style on this one!

Deceivers (45 minutes in length)

  1. “Handshake with Hell” – Your Master Butcher has a Single Review for this one, which features White-Gluz’s cleans.
  2. “Deceiver, Deceiver” – An up-tempo banger, and ya girl has a Single Review for this one.
  3. “In the Eye of the Storm” – A classic Arch Enemy attack; here is a Single Review for it.
  4. “The Watcher” – One of my favorites on the new record, this song is quick; and the lyrics are delivered in machine-gun fashion, until the chorus. Daniel Erlandsson is an incredible drummer, and his double-bass work drives that machine-gun movement. Guitar solos are time changes, and wicked; while melodic at times, many times they take off in a new direction.
  5. “Poisoned Arrow” – After beginning with various stringed instruments (including acoustic guitar), a nasty thrash riff drives this track. The chorus is sung, and guitars played, in melodic harmony. It’s quite an anthemic song. The guitar solos are 80s influenced – we know that Michael Amott loves 80s Thrash / 90s Death.
  6. “Sunset Over the Empire” – One of The Saw’s favorites, here is a Single Review on it.
  7. “House of Mirrors” – Another great track, a Saw favorite; details in this Single Review.
  8. “Spreading Black Wings” – Dare I say that this is my favorite song on the new record?! This one is something different. White-Gluz says that she “loves Black Metal.” And this track qualifies as such. Amott wrote these lyrics, but White-Gluz gives us a Blackened delivery and cadence – beautiful! Musically, this is a very dark expression. A slow, haunting, chunky riff fills out to a more atmospheric sound. The song is dedicated to the memory of L.G. Petrov (Morbid, Nihilist, Entombed). The legend, and creator of the building blocks of Swedish Death Metal, died of cancer on August 9, 2020.
  9. “Mourning Star” – At 1:36, this instrumental is beautiful, following the darkness of the previous track. It’s a tone setter to bring the album to a close.
  10. “One Last Time” – is like the counter point to “Spreading Black Wings.” It’s a lofty, uplifting anthem. Each verse is delivered over a classic Arch Enemy riff, while a full stop induces a time change to that anthem. Of course, and as usual, dueling solos lift this song even higher, even harmonizing with the chorus.
  11. “Exiled from Earth” – Another of ya girl’s favorites, the song has a killer AE-class riff layered under an Amott style harmony. White-Gluz has, almost, a snarl to the gutteral vocal delivery. Again, the guitar solos lift this song into the sky, before the killer riff brings it crashing to the earth. This is a brilliantly written track, and not only a great album ender, but also the perfect show ender.

Deceivers is a great album! Arch Enemy is at the top of their game, and they are at the top of the Melodic Death Metal heap, as well. There is little “polish,” here, but that does NOT mean that this record isn’t perfectly delivered. Arch Enemy have a secret (IMO): They have figured-out how to master their sound and delivery without losing the edge, or a single step, in the endeavor. First, I think what Loomis (guitars) brings is on a whole new level (I’ve said this since he joined the band!). And I think that D’Angelo’s bass playing ensures the bottom-end is thick and full, regardless of the style used by everyone else in the band.

Rating: 9.5/10!! Just a superb album! The array of styles on each track, while maintaining what makes them Arch Enemy, is impressive!

Favorite Songs: “Spreading Black Wings” and “Exiled from Earth” (and the other three noted! LOL)

Stay Metal,

THE SAW