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51YHlWJmBjL. SL500 AA300 If you’ve ever seen the 1990 film DAYS OF THUNDER, you’re in for a surprise on KHAOS LEGIONS, the new album from ARCH ENEMY (out this week via Century Media). As soon as you get past the introductory instrumental Khaos Overture, you’ll arrive at Yesterday Is Dead And Gone. Everything is chugging along nicely until we hit a bridge that sounds lifted from CARCASS’ HEARTWORK album followed by a lead at 1:11 that sounds just like the HANS ZIMMER score to DAYS OF THUNDER. While the thought of Tom Cruise chasing Michael Rooker around a race track (or hospital) to the music of ARCH ENEMY is appealing, this is just a hint of something even more… off about this album.

At a glance, KHAOS LEGIONS is a solid metal album worthy of cranking up, but at a deeper listen there’s a lot of weird resemblances to other bands in both music and appearance.

On their visual image, ARCH ENEMY has successfully managed to ape OTEP, twice. With their outfits bearing more than a passing similiarity to Otep’s during THE ASCENSION-era, frontwoman ANGELA GOSSOW’s features the words “Resist, Rebel, Reclaim” stenciled upon it, which sounds an awful lot like Otep’s 2009 single “Rise, Rebel, Resist.” Toss in that Football-style eyeliner, and now she’s looking like Goldie Hawn in WILDCATS dressed like Otep.

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Musically, you have the DAYS’ thing mentioned above, which somewhat returns by the 1:24 mark ofBloodstained Cross, setting up something else that irks me: whichever of the Amott brothers is playing those leads seems hellbent on making the listener feel as if they’re hearing the music from a late-80’s action movie montage, or listening to a videogame score. The tone is distinctive, and completely unwelcome. It detracts from everything the rest of the band is doing.

By the time Under Black Flags‘ bass intro recalls the Megadeth classic Dawn Patrol, I’ve grown tired of picking out the seed of other bands. 

Average metal in a fancy package.

Rating: 2.5/5

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