Arch Enemy, Caelestia // Gagarin 205 Club, Athens, Greece // 14.11.2015

Arch Enemy has been, and still is an important band for todays’ metal scene. Ever since the entrance of Angela Gossow in the band, they’ve brought a whole generation of metal fans closer to melodic Death metal as one of the more modern expressions of the genre, (with a necessary Thrash edge to the riffing). With Angela leaving the stage and giving her way to Alissa White-Gluz, lots of people were curious to see what would happen to the band especially after the average “Khaos Legions” (2011). Fortunately, last years’ “War Eternal” seems to have met the fans’ expectations and with the addition of Jeff Loomis, those expectations for that Saturday night @ Gagarin 205 were extremely high.

Speaking of expectations, the opening act at around 21:00 was Caelestia, a brand new promising female fronted act, but not something you’d expected by reading that term. The influences I found were closer to later-era Death, some symphonic Black metal and melodic Death metal elements, with the vocals being shared equally among the two vocalists. And a more progressive song structure, which gives this band a different feel, darker and more unique. Throughtout their set they had a great sound, sort of unusual for support local acts, while playing stuff off their debut album “Beneath Abyss“, warming up the audience for good! We’re to expect some really great things from them!
As the lights went off, it was time for the answer to our initial question “can Arch Enemy deliver the goods live after these line-up changes?”. In comes “Yesterday Is Dead And Gone” off “Khaos Legions” and the band is fired-up to kick serious ass. Alissa and Jeff really gave the band the needed push to feel more inspired while playing live (Daniel/Sharlee are an ideal rhythm section), especially Alissa was a mindblowing performer. Up next, the writers’ favorite track ever “Burning Angel” (lost my mind in this one) off “Wages Of Sin” which really got the audience moving up and down. That night we also heard songs off “Wages Of Sin” (“Dead Bury Their Dead”, “Snowbound”, “Ravenous”) “Doomsday Machine” (“My Apocalypse”, “Nemesis”), “Anthems Of Rebellion” (“Dead Eyes See No Future”, “We Will Rise”) “War Eternal” (the title track, “As The Pages Burn”, “Avalanche”, “You Will Know My Name”, “Stolen Life”) and “Khaos Legions” (“Under Black Flags We March”, “No Gods No Masters”, “Bloodstained Cross”). Alissa didn’t forget to mention the Paris terrorist attacks that took place the night before, dedicating “Ravenous” to the people who died that night.
As the lights went on with “Enter The Machine” playing in the distance, we stood there smiling at a band that was really revitalized after a rough time but came back strong. Jeff Loomis shouldn’t be turned into another hired gun to side Michael Ammots’ melodic lines. Make him a permanent guitar player, and Arch Enemy will blossom!! This team of five shows something really strong, that I personally hope I’ll see in a future record. Until then, my respects and cheers to the organization of the event and cheers!