Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Charles | San Diego, CA | 09/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Black Earth" was Arch Enemy's first album and had Johan Liiva on vocals. Arch Enemy's old material seem to be buried by newer fans now because of the Angela Gossow era. Such a shame because Johan's era was still a good time for Arch Enemy - this CD is probably one of their heaviest and most aggressive. Of course, it's much more darker sounding as well as Liiva has deeper vocals than Angela Gossow does, but I think any fan of Arch Enemy needs to hear what they sounded like in the beginning. You'll be able to tell the difference of the sound of the 2 eras, but it still sounds like Arch Enemy!
This remaster has a very good boost in sound quality from the original with sound just like the Angela Gossow era. Highly recommended for all Arch Enemy fans and fans of melodic death metal!"
Justin Gaines | Northern Virginia | 02/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Arch Enemy gets a fair amount of attention and publicity due to the fact that they were pretty much the first death metal band with a female vocalist. Fortunately, their music more than lives up to the hype. This holds true for their early, pre-Angela Grossow albums as well, of which 1996's Black Earth was the first.
Black Earth is an all-around impressive melodic death metal album. It's exactly what you'd expect a late 90's Swedish melodic death metal album to sound like. It builds on the foundation established by At the Gates and early In Flames that balances crushing thrash riffs with traditional metal melodies, with harsh vocals - provided here by Johan Liiva - giving it an added sense of aggression. The twin guitar attack of Michael and Christopher Amott really stands out (some of these melodies are insane), and you can see how even at the beginning it was the driving force behind Arch Enemy's sound.
If you're only interested in Arch Enemy's current incarnation, then Black Earth probably won't interest you much. If you're a serious Arch Enemy fan, or just appreciate good quality melodic death metal, regardless of how "hot" the singer is, you're going to want to check out this album.
NOTE: The 2002 reissue of Black Earth features three bonus tracks. The first is studio track called "Losing Faith" that was previously only available on the Japanese import. The last two tracks are a pair of Iron Maiden covers - the instrumental "The Ides of March" and the classic "Aces High". I prefer Children of Bodom's version of "Aces High", but Arch Enemy definitely puts an aggressive spin on the song.
NOTE 2: Regain's 2007 reissue of Black Earth contains the same tracks as the 2002 reissue, but adds a bonus video clip of "Bury Me an Angel"."