Monday, March 14, 2011

The Devil's Advocate: Arch Enemy - Gassow Vs. Liiva

In case you're not in the know, Arch Enemy had a singer before Angela Gassow. Their first three albums are often overlooked by a lot of new fans and it's a shame. From 1996 t0 2000, Johan Liiva fronted the Swedish based band. Arch Enemy released Black Earth, Stigmata and Burning Bridges, three killer albums that have a slightly more raw sound to them than today's Arch Enemy.

Some rather newer fans got a taste of some of the songs from the first three albums on Arch Enemy's latest release, The Root Of All Evil which was re-recordings of some songs from the first three albums with Gassow on vocals. Some older A.E. fans found this to be a bit redundant and/or disrespectful to Liiva. Kind of like Exodus thinking it was necessary to re-record Bonded By Blood with Rob Dukes. Kind of a different situation all together though.

Arch Enemy has released five, going on six albums since the departure of Johan Liiva in 2000, which wasn't really an amicable split. Liiva was asked to leave the band because his live performance wasn't on point. In comes Gassow, who pimped herself out via a demo that she gave to Michael Ammot when she interviewed him for a German webzine earlier in 2000. Gassow auditions and gets the gig. Liiva goes on to form and front other bands and is currently singing in a band called Herse.

The question here today is, if you are a long time fan or even if you've only been a fan for a short time but have explored the back catalog of Arch Enemy, who's voice do you like better, Angela Gassow's or Johan Liiva's? Also, as the band has evolved and become much better over the years, do you honestly think that Liiva's vocals would fit well with Arch Enemy's sound of today that has been finely honed in to a sharp, surgical instrument? Here is a little something to off of.

1 comment:

Robert said...

It really is a toss up for me. I didn't think Johan's vocals stood out too much. And Angela was a freak of nature that has since been copied by numerous bands since. I've always thought the music in Arch Enemy was the star of the band and both vocalists to be the weak link.