Any skepticism that may have still existed in the minds of Arch Enemy fans when former vocalist Angela Gossow departed and gave way to Alissa White-Gluz in 2014 was put to rest in a big way aboard the seventh annual 70000 Tons of Metal cruise. Of course, many of those fans from 74 nations on the boat have seen the Swedish melodic death metal band play their country several times over.
However, Arch Enemy doesn't tour the United States as often. And although that's about to change later this year, as the group revealed during a press conference on board (coverage here), Arch Enemy firmly drove a wedge through any such thoughts among those witnessing the band live for the first time. And if they weren't convinced during the band's first set inside the Alhambra Theater during the Feb. 2-6 voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Labadee, Haiti, Arch Enemy further drove home its point during an intensely enjoyable second set on the pool deck.
Not only did White-Gluz demonstrate she's more than a suitable replacement for Gossow in terms of stage presence, intensity and delivery, the founder and former singer of Canadian band The Agonist was easily one of the top 70000 Tons performers among all 61 artists on board.
Arch Enemy guitarist and founder Michael Arnott joined White-Gluz, bassist Sharlee D'Angelo, drummer Daniel Erlandsson and Seattle native and guitarist Jeff Loomis in unleashing a furious attack of metal indoors and out. Spanning a bulk of the group's 21-year career, older tunes such as "My Apocalypse," "Dead Bury Their Dead" and "Taking Back My Soul" (AXS footage below) mixed perfectly with newer tracks "Avalanche," "As the Pages Burn" and "You Will Know My Name," as Arch Enemy left a trail of crowd surfers and moshers in its wake.
Check out a slideshow of the performance above, pre-order the band's forthcoming DVD "As the Stages Burn" here, and stay tuned for the U.S. tour announcement that's certain to give American metalheads thirsting for a dose of Arch Enemy reason to cancel their plans whenever the band ultimately hits their town.
SETLIST 1: "Intro," "Blood on Your Hands," "War Eternal," "Ravenous," "Revolution Begins," "Stolen Life," "You Will Know My Name," "Taking Back My Soul," "Under Black Flags," "As the Pages Burn," "Avalanche," "Dead Bury Their Dead," "We Will Rise," "Snowbound," "Nemesis," "Fields/Outro"