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Arch Enemy Return to Their ‘Roots’

For some metal fans, albums exist in certain times and places. When a singer exits a band and a new one comes in, the question of whether or not a band will re-record tracks with their new singer — offering a fresh spin and take on classic material — comes into play. Some fans abhor the concept, while others invite it. Swedish metal titans Arch Enemy decided to offer a modern take on a bunch of songs from their first three albums on ‘The Root of All Evil,’ due out on Sept. 28, which features reinterpretations of early material by signer Angela Gossow, who simply wasn’t in the band for the ‘Black Earth,’ ‘Stigmata’ and ‘Burning Bridges.’

“We want to breathe some new life into these old recordings,” Gossow told Noisecreep. “We want to re-introduce them to the majority of fans which came after I joined Arch Enemy. There are some excellent tracks on these three albums, but nobody seems to recognize them when we play them live. We’d given up on them and dropped them from our set list the last couple of years and finally got bored with that concept of ‘neglect.’ Plus, we got a lot of messages from fans asking us if we would ever consider re-recording old tracks with the ultimate Arch Enemy lineup that we are now.”

The band freed up some time to honor the fan demand/requests for this endeavor. As a result, it will spill over into the live show. “From now on there will be a lot more ‘old school massacre’ at our shows,” Gossow said with a laugh. “People will get to know these songs for sure now.” As for Gossow’s favorite exhumed tracks? She’s feeling ‘Diva Satanica,’ ‘Demonic Science’ and ‘Dead Inside.’

Gossow also said that it was best to record these songs in order to stimulate some new fans. “The kids aren’t picking up those old recordings, and they’re not right in front of them and it’s also probably due to them featuring vocals they don’t favor so much,” Gossow said. “Plus, the sound quality wasn’t that great on the originals. Those albums were done quickly with no recording budget really. ‘Stigmata’ suffers from a muddy and dull sound.’”

She isn’t nervous about fans considering the re-dos a sacrilege or slap in the face to ex-singer Johan Liiva, either. “That’s complete bulls—,” Gossow said. “We didn’t re-do entire albums. We just picked out our faves. Michael [Amott] wrote every single song and wrote every single bit of lyrics, so he’s got all the fucking right in this world to go and re-do them. If you are a big fan of Johan Liiva, please support his current band Hearse! They are cool as hell but are not getting any recognition at all.”

Fans who are sentimental about the old records are encouraged to check out the re-issues Century Media just released.” Michael and Johan provided liner notes, and I went through boxes of pictures to add some cool visuals to the booklets,” Gossow said “We are not neglecting the old releases but rather celebrating them and bringing them back into our live set.”

Arch Enemy will be touring the U.S. in mid-January, as well.

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