Arch Enemy
Band Info
OriginHalmstad, Sweden
Genre(s)Melodic death metal
Label(s)Century Media, Wrong Again
Associated ActsThe Agonist, Armageddon, Candlemass, Carcass, Carnage, Dismember, Eucharist, In Flames, Liers in Wait, Mercyful Fate, Mistress, Opeth, Sinergy, Spiritual Beggars, Witchery{{{9}}}

Arch Enemy are a Swedish melodic death metal band, originally a supergroup, from Halmstad, Sweden, formed in 1996. Its members were in bands such as Carcass, Armageddon, Carnage, Mercyful Fate, Spiritual Beggars, and Eucharist. It was founded by Carcass guitarist Michael Amott along with Johan Liiva, who were both originally from the influential death metal band Carnage. The band has released nine studio albums, a live album (Burning Japan Live 1999), two DVDs and three EPs. The band was originally fronted by Johan Liiva, who was replaced by German Angela Gossow as lead vocalist in 2000. Gossow left the group in March 2014 and was replaced by Canadian Alissa White-Gluz.


Early years and Black Earth (1995–1997)Edit

Arch Enemy, the brainchild of Michael Amott (Carcass, Carnage, and Spiritual Beggars) was originally assembled when Michael Amott left Carcass. Guitarists Michael Amott and younger brother Christopher Amott (Armageddon) joined with vocalist Johan Liiva (ex-Carnage, Furbowl, Devourment) and then-session drummer Daniel Erlandsson (Eucharist) in what Michael Amott called "an attempt to merge melody with aggression and technicality".

The band's debut, entitled Black Earth was recorded in Studio Fredman and released by the now defunct Wrong Again Records in 1996. It obtained a fair amount of success in Japan, achieving MTV rotation with their first single "Bury Me an Angel", as well as moderate success in Sweden. At this point, Arch Enemy was more of a "solo effort" than a full band; Michael Amott wrote all the songs himself, and even played bass guitar on the album, contrary to the album's liner notes, which listed vocalist Johan Liiva as handling bass duties. Amott later revealed that he had the credits listed that way to make the album seem more of a "band" effort. Many consider it to be the band's most aggressive album, a trait that was softened to some degree on its following releases, but never abandoned.

Stigmata, Burning Bridges, and Gossow (1998–2000)Edit

Arch Enemy (Erlandsson) 01

Arch Enemy drummer Daniel Erlandsson

After the release of Black Earth the band switched labels, signing a contract with Century Media. In 1998 Arch Enemy released Stigmata, for which bassist Martin Bengtsson and drummer Peter Wildoer joined the band. The album caught the attention of a wider audience, gaining popularity in both Europe and America. This was also the first Arch Enemy album to be released worldwide.

In 1999, Sharlee D'Angelo assumed the role of Arch Enemy's bassist, and Daniel Erlandsson was once again recruited to handle drum duties, this time on a permanent basis. Burning Bridges was released, and was soon followed by the live album Burning Japan Live 1999, which was initially a release limited to Japan, but later given worldwide distribution due to strong demand. During the touring-cycle for Burning Bridges, Sharlee D'Angelo was temporarily replaced twice; first by Dick Lövgren (Meshuggah, ex-Armageddon) and then by Roger Nilsson (ex-Spiritual Beggars, Firebird, The Quill). Burning Bridges marked a shift in Arch Enemy's core sound, now opting for a more melodic approach, while still keeping the original melodic death metal-sound first heard on the first two albums.

In November 2000, vocalist Johan Liiva was asked to quit the band. Michael Amott stated that the he wanted more dynamics from the band's frontman, and that Liiva's live performance was not up to par with the rest of the band.[1] Liiva was soon replaced by amateur German journalist and death metal vocalist Angela Gossow, who had given a demo tape to Christopher Amott earlier that year during an interview she had conducted with him. Gossow proved to be a talented vocalist and has been with the band ever since.

Wages of Sin and Anthems of Rebellion (2001–2004)Edit

The first album with songs featuring Gossow was Wages of Sin, released in 2001. This is also the first album where the band used C tuning, which they have kept until the present. In December of the same year, Arch Enemy took part in the "Japan's Beast Feast 2002" concert, playing alongside Slayer and Motörhead.

Anthems of Rebellion was released in 2003 and brought some innovations, such as the use of a second voice singing in harmony; such as in the "End of the Line" and "Dehumanization" tracks. In November of the following year, the band released the EP Dead Eyes See No Future, which featured live recordings, along with covers of Manowar, Megadeth and Carcass songs. In June 2004, the band embarked upon Japan touring with Japanese act Edge of Spirit.[2]

Doomsday Machine (2005–2006)Edit

In June 2005, Arch Enemy finished the recording for their sixth album, Doomsday Machine. Christopher returned on a permanent basis in March 2007, shortly before the band entered the studio to begin recording their new album with producer Fredrik Nordström (who has produced for acts such as In Flames and Soilwork). An album from Arch Enemy's earlier work, Black Earth, was reissued on April 24, 2007, with Liiva's vocals.

Rise of the Tyrant (2007–2008)Edit


Arch Enemy performing live at Norway Rock Festival in 2009

Arch Enemy's seventh album, entitled Rise of the Tyrant was released on September 24, 2007 in Europe and September 25, 2007 in the United States. Rise of the Tyrant debuted at number 84 on the Billboard 200 chart. This surpassed the Doomsday Machine chart entry, making it the band's highest charting effort to date. Gossow said the new album has more emotion and less double vocals, as well as less vocal processing, yielding a more "raw" presentation.[3]

Arch Enemy played the Bloodstock Open Air Festival in August 2007, between Sabbat and In Flames.[4] They then performed on the Black Crusade tour at the end of 2007 with Machine Head, Trivium, DragonForce and Shadows Fall. With this, as Michael Amott reported on the band's website, "These will be the first European shows we do with Arch Enemy after the release of our new album".

On March 8, 2008, Arch Enemy filmed a live show in Tokyo, Japan for the live DVD Tyrants of the Rising Sun.[5] Arch Enemy also co-headlined the "Defenders of the Faith" tour in April 2008 with Opeth, while DevilDriver and 3 Inches of Blood opened for them. They then headlined the "Tyranny and Bloodshred" tour in May 2008 with Dark Tranquillity, Divine Heresy, and Firewind as supporting acts.

The Root of All Evil (2009–2010)Edit

Arch Enemy's eighth album titled The Root of All Evil was released on September 28, 2009 in Europe, September 30 in Japan, and October 6 in the United States.[6] The Root of All Evil features twelve re-recorded songs spanning the band's career before Gossow joined as vocalist, with some material pre-dating D'Angelo as their bassist.[7][8] In the first half of 2009, the band toured Europe and South America, and then played at the annual "Dubai Desert Rock Festival" alongside Opeth, Chimaira, and Motörhead.[9][10][11] Following the release of The Root of All Evil on September 28, 2009, the band embarked on an Asian and Australian tour, which included their first visit to New Zealand. The tour started at the "Loud Park festival" in Japan on October 17, supplementing other acts including Megadeth, Judas Priest, Slayer, Anthrax, Rob Zombie and Children of Bodom. They also toured in South Korea on October 25, headlining at the Melon AX Hall in Seoul.

Khaos Legions and Christopher's second departure (2011–2013)Edit

Arch Enemy-Live-Metaltown 2011

Arch Enemy performing live at Metaltown Festival 2011

According to a September 2010 interview with Angela Gossow, Arch Enemy entered the studio on December 1 to begin recording their ninth album for a release in June 2011, according to the band's website.[12] The title for the new album is Khaos Legions. The first single from the album was released on the Century Media website on March 31, entitled "Yesterday is Dead and Gone". The album was released on 31 May 2011. On December 12th, the band announced that they would be filming a show in Cologne the following day for an upcoming live DVD entitled "World Khaos Tour".[13]

On March 3, 2012 it was announced on the band's Facebook page that Christopher Amott had once again departed from the band. He was replaced by Nick Cordle from Arsis. [14] Arch Enemy released their third music video from Khaos Legions on April 25th, 2012 for "Under Black Flags We March". Not only does Nick Cordle appear in the video, he also recorded a new guitar solo, making this his debut track with the band.

As of 2013 Arch Enemy are taking a break from touring while writing a new album for a 2014 release, They are also working on releasing a new live DVD before the end of the year.

Gossow's Departure and War Eternal (2014–present)Edit

On March 3, 2014 the band revealed their tenth album would be titled War Eternal, and will be released in June 2014.

On March 17, 2014, Gossow released a statement announcing her departure from the group and welcoming her replacement, former vocalist of Canadian extreme metal band The Agonist, Alissa White Gluz. In the statement, she wrote that while she had enjoyed her time with the group, it was time for her to move on, be with her family and pursue other interests. Gossow did confirm that she would remain Arch Enemy's business manager, and would be "passing the torch to the super talented Alissa White Gluz, whom I’ve known as a dear friend and a superb vocalist for many years. I always thought she deserved a chance to shine – and now she’s getting it. Just like I got that chance back in 2001."[15]

White Gluz also released a statement saying: "I am very honoured and happy to announce a new chapter in my life and musical career. Wages of Sin was the first metal album I ever bought, and it was love at first listen. It is not often that you get a phone call from your favourite band asking you to join! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such amazingly talented musicians whom I also consider great friends. I look forward to being able to write and perform at a whole new level now with Arch Enemy! Music is forever, metal is limitless and this is only the beginning!"[16]

Band membersEdit

Current members
Former members

Touring and session members


Studio albums


  1. Ragnarok Radio (2009-02-22). Ragnarök Radio Interview with Angela Gossow. Ragnarok Radio. Retrieved on 2009-02-25.
  2. "ARCH ENEMY: Japanese Support Acts Announced" (Script error), 2004-06-05, <>. Retrieved on 10 August 2009 
  3. Gossow, Angela (2007-03-16), "Angela Gossow offers update from the studio (incl. video)." (Script error), <>. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 
  4. "Bloodstock Heavy Metal Festivals" (Script error), <>. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 
  5. "Arch Enemy's Audio Message for Japanese Fans" (Script error), 2008-03-05, <>. Retrieved on 5 March 2008 
  6. "Merci Beaucoup, France and Luxembourg - Arch Enemy Tour Recap" (Script error), 2007-03-16, <>. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 
  7. Popoff, Martin (2008-09-22), "Arch Enemy Plans To Re-Record Album Of Early Material, ..." (Script error), <>. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 
  8. "ARCH ENEMY: 'The Root Of All Evil' Coming This Fall" (Script error), 2009-06-23, <>. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 
  9. "Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2009 attendance press release" (Script error), 2008-09-15, <>. Retrieved on 6 October 2008 
  10. "Motorhead to Headline Dubai Desert Rock Festival" (Script error), 2008-11-25, <>. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 
  11. Kumar, Shyama (2009-03-07), "Metal lives at Dubai's Desert Rock festival" (Script error), <>. Retrieved on 17 March 2009 
  12. "ARCH ENEMY To Enter Studio In December" (Script error), 2009-09-28, <>. Retrieved on 29 September 2009 
  13. "ARCH ENEMY - FILM COLOGNE SHOW ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13TH!" (Script error), 2011-12-12, <>. Retrieved on 14 December 2011 
  14. Christopher Amott and Arch Enemy part ways|url=!/notes/arch-enemy/arch-enemy-and-christopher-amott-part-ways-recruit-replacement/398760443471947
  16. You must specify title = and url = when using {{cite web}}..

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