Albertans embrace Arch Enemy - Metro US

Albertans embrace Arch Enemy

For some, the arrival of an arch enemy is a bad thing. But not for Edmonton metalheads.

Thrash metal outfit Arch Enemy was founded in 1996 by Carcass guitarist Michael Amott along with Johan Liiva, both originally from the influential death metal band Carnage.

The band was originally fronted by Liiva, who was replaced by Angela Gossow as lead vocalist in 2000. Coming from the heavy metal hotbed of Sweden, Amott was at a loss to explain why the Scandinavian nation has such a love affair with such heavy music.

“I don’t really know why we’re so angry,” said Amott, who reckoned the nation’s general affluence affords young people the chance to get their hands on noisy instruments. “I guess we could afford the guitars.”

The rest of the lineup includes Amott’s brother Christopher on guitar, Sharlee D’Angelo on bass guitar and Daniel Erlandsson on drums. The band has released seven studio albums, a live album (Burning Japan Live 1999), two DVDs and three EPs.

Amott recalled visiting Alberta supporting Cradle of Filth in 2004, and that crowds in the province immediately embraced the Swedish rockers.

“We said next time we do our own set of shows we’ve got to come back here (to Alberta),” Amott said.

Touring with their October release The Root Of All Evil, Amott tried to sum up what it is that makes metal fans such a dedicated following.

“The beautiful thing about metal is it’s this huge sub-genre of music,” he said, adding that pop radio won’t force-feed the sound to the public and fans have to show initiative.

“It’s something you gotta go and find,” Amott said. “(And then it’s) something that you’ll stick with for a very long time.”

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