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3.79 | 28 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2001


1. Enemy Within (4:21)
2. Burning Angel (4:17)
3. Heart of Darkness (4:52)
4. Ravenous (4:06)
5. Savage Messiah (5:18)
6. Dead Bury Their Dead (3:55)
7. Web of Lies (3:56)
8. The First Deadly Sin (4:20)
9. Behind the Smile (3:28)
10. Snow Bound (1:34)
11. Shadows and Dust (4:28)
12. Lament of a Mortal Soul (4:06)

Total Time: 48:46

Bonus disc: Rare & Unreleased
1. Starbreaker (3:25)
2. Aces High (4:24)
3. Scream of Anger (3:46)
4. Diva Satanica (3:43)
5. Fields of Desolation '99 (6:02)
6. Damnation's Way (3:47)
7. Hydra (0:58)

Total Time: 26:08


- Angela Gossow / Vocals
- Michael Amott / Guitars
- Christopher Amott / Guitars
- Sharlee D'Angelo / Bass
- Daniel Erlandsson / Drums
- Johan Liiva / Vocals

- Per Wiberg / Keyboards

About this release

Century Media Records
April 2nd, 2001

Niklas Sundin - Cover art
Fredrik Nordström - Producer
Michael Amott - Producer
Andy Sneap - Mixing

- CD1 has a special multimedia track for "Ravenous"
- CD2 is called "Rare & Unreleased" and has a special multimedia track for "The Immortal"; songs (covers or rare and unreleased bonus tracks) are all performed during the time former vocalist Johan Liiva was in the band, so Liiva is the vocalist on all songs. CD2 is only included with the EU/US version of the album.

"Diva Satanica", "Damnation's Way" and "Hydra" were previously available as japanese bonus tracks on the 'Stigmata' album.
"Fields Of Desolation `99" were previously available as japanese bonus tracks on the "Burning Bridges" album

There were huge problems with the release of the album in the American and European markets. The release date is for the Japanese version by Toy Factory and that version only had one CD with the first eleven tracks and no video. The 2 CD version for Europe and the Americas wasn't released until 18.3.2002.

First release with Angela Gossow on vocal duties. The bonus CD (CD 2) however, only features songs with John Liiva on vocals.

Also released on LP (without the bonus tracks) limited to 1,000 copies.

Thanks to bartosso, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Vim Fuego
When people look back on the metal of 2001, what is best remembered? Slayer's return with 'God Hates Us All'? Slipknot’s overhyped but dire 'Iowa'? Emperor's final exit with 'Prometheus…'? Deicide's crazed contractual obligation album 'In Torment In Hell'? If there was any justice in the world, 'Wages of Sin' would be hailed as the defining album of 2001. It isn’t, but hey, life ain't fair.

Right from the get go Arch Enemy command respect. Even on first listen, the technical brilliance of the band is awe–inspiring. The riffing and soloing is amazing. It immediately gets in your face, grabs you by the ears, and shakes until you can't help but give it your full attention. This is not something to listen to while you're working, as you'll be constantly distracted. That's not to say it's overly technical in a prog–rock kind of way. No, this is interchangeable twin guitar rifferama, as pioneered by Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, where rhythm and lead guitar blend seamlessly.

Choosing the outstanding tracks on this album is impossible. As each new track begins you think "this is the one!" but then the next track begins you think "or maybe this". There is not a dud, filler, or weaker track among them. Just as a random example, "Heart of Darkness" starts with what sounds like a riff left over from Carcass' pathologically essential 'Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious'. Angela Gossow's guttural growl (it says here it's a female vocalist, though it's difficult to believe!) also sounds a lot like that produced by the Carcass lads.

Latter day Carcass seems to be a reference point repeatedly, and if any band deserves to revisit the likes of 'Heartwork' and 'Swansong', its Arch Enemy. After all, Michael Amott helped define their post–'Symphonies of Sickness' sound. All the same, it would be misleading and unfair to call Arch Enemy Carcass clones. This band has its own unique musical identity, out–muscling a majority of so–called melodic death metal bands, but still retaining that essential listenability and attention to detail missing from more brutal bands.

While the brainwashed, baggy–trousered hordes think they have found the essence of "extreme" metal in Slipknot and Disturbed, anyone with an ear for what metal CAN be will be tracking this down and smiling quietly and blissfully.

Members reviews

Their peak, I'd say. With Angela Gossow now on board, the band took their boldest stride yet down the road to metal stardom. Much more palatable than Johan Liiva's monotonous howl, Angela's uncanny resemblence to Carcass' Jeff Walker is the icing on the cake of an album that represents Mike Amott's best attempt to recreate Heartwork.

It's altogether more polished and straight ahead than the Carcass classic but the signatures are all there. It feels very much like a classic heavy metal record played by a death metal band, the density of the Burning Bridges production giving way to a clean and sharper sound. Metal festival crowd pleasers like Burning Angel, Ravenous and Dead Bury Their Dead have aged nicely and the album flows neatly with memorable riffs never far away. The song structures while traditional are peppered with excellent detail and they nail some sweet melodic hooks like never before.

I can't say they ever were a favourite of mine but this was and still is quite a special effort and stands tall amongst the best albums in last decade or so of metal.

Ratings only

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  • Alex
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  • michelandrade
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
  • Necrotica
  • sepozzsla
  • powermetal2000
  • Unitron
  • Stooge
  • kllytrrnc
  • KatiLily
  • Zombieman998
  • Jan
  • Anster
  • spitf1r3
  • 666sharon666
  • vikt73
  • adg211288
  • LoFreeDig
  • Bartje1979
  • Hagbard Celine
  • progshine

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