Arch Enemy, Skeletonwitch, Cthonic, Devildriver | House of Blues | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Arch Enemy, Skeletonwitch, Cthonic, Devildriver All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended

When: Tue., Oct. 4, 5:30 p.m. 2011

If you weren't paying attention when Carcass guitarist Michael Amott and his brother Christopher founded Swedish melodic death-metal supergroup Arch Enemy in 1996, you might have taken notice in 2000, when original vocalist Johan Liiva was replaced by Angela Gossow (though I figure people could've listened to Gossow's gnarly death growl for a year or two before the inevitable "Wait, that's a girl?" moment finally registered). And even if you haven't been paying attention at all, you can still get aboard now with no trouble—their sound is so consistent you can drop a needle in the metaphorical groove anywhere and get pretty much the same quality of Arch Enemy-ness. The band's latest, Khaos Legions (Century Media), is a sprawling hodgepodge of metal subgenres, driven as always by the Amott brothers' brilliant guitar work. Though it's sometimes overproduced, sometimes suffers from downright distracting self-­plagiarism, and sometimes sinks into a fondue of melted cheese, the album nonetheless succeeds by virtue of its conviction and, yes, hookiness. If you can, get the Japanese version with the cover of the Scorpions' "The Zoo," just for the insight into Arch Enemy's roots. —Monica Kendrick Skeletonwitch, Chthonic, and Devildriver open.

Price: $27.50, $25 in advance

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