When Swedish death-metal band Arch Enemy announced in 2001 that original singer Johan Liiva had been asked to leave because guitarist Michael Amott wanted "a more dynamic frontman," few people expected that the new "frontman" would be a woman a then-unknown German singer named Angela Gossow. Since Gossow joined the band, Arch Enemy has recorded four albums (including Doomsday Machine
), and the band's popularity has skyrocketed, particularly in the United States, where it never hurts to have a hot female onstage. But beyond her physical attributes, Gossow is a serious and formally trained singer, and this album captures her most powerful, visceral vocals to date. Tracks like "I Am Legend/Out for Blood" and "Machtkampf" illustrate Gossow's demonic grunts (which could easily be mistaken for a male voice). But the songs also show that she's still pushing her range, spiking her screeches with subtle emotion and pulling from her gut rather than her throat for sustained screams. Musically, guitarist Amott (formerly of Carcass) still has some of the harshest, most enviable chops in this genre, and drummer Daniel Erlandsson provides some of the most dexterous drumming in metal today. Lyrically, Arch Enemy can venture into cheeseland sometimes (particularly on tracks like "Nemesis," where Gossow sings "One for all/All for one/We are strong/We are one"
), but Doomsday Machine
is still Arch Enemy's densest, most aggressive album... that is, until it makes the next one, which Gossow says she wants to be even "more crazy."