ARCH ENEMY@ The Tree – Joliet, IL

ARCH ENEMY @ The Tree – Joliet, IL

August 1, 2015

Review by Dan Scheiman

Arch Enemy, a Swedish melodic death metal band, has a reputation of crushing live performances and cranking out progressively more impressive albums since 1996, seemed to be a proper fit as the headliner for the Summer Slaughter 2015 Tour.


You may assume that the crowd would be exhausted after having to endure the mind-melting lineup that lead up to them, but the fans were right back to their feet, front and center, eagerly awaiting more auditory rage.


There were a few stragglers laying around on the newly remodeled benches of the lounge area attempting to recover from the first 5 hours of the slaughter, but they were rudely awakened by even more metal, soon enough.


Alissa White-Gluz and the band were greeted with a welcoming roar from the crowd. The deafening howl of the guitars at the beginning of “Yesterday is Dead and Gone,” ripped through the venue with immense power. The diehard fans cried out in sincere approval and began to chant the lyrics word for word. Immediately, guitarists Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis show off their their unbelievable precision by seamlessly synchronizing their guitar licks within a smooth transition.


This band has always been known for brilliantly written, complex, and well executed guitar harmonization. It is one of the things that really differentiates them from a lot of the other metal bands. Not only are the two guitarists equally talented, but they make it somewhat difficult to determine who is playing lead and who is playing rhythm; more often than not, they will trade solos and lead riffs throughout their songs.


One of my personal favorite tracks, “Ravenous,” directly got the bouncers attention as the barricade they were standing in front of immediately needed 8 large men pushing as hard as they could to hold it up while still trying to make sure the crowd was at least reasonably in order. Horns were in the air, hair was being thrashed about by fans and band members alike, and bodies were being smashed into one another at the utmost velocity.


The backbone of the band quite literally never skipped a beat with Sharlee D’Angelo on bass and Daniel Erlandsson on drums.  This is a rhythm section that any metal band could only dream of having for as long as Arch Enemy has. Quite often during songs the two would glance over at each other in approval, seemingly smirking at one another’s effortless execution of such extreme endurance. Daniel had a giant kit that even included a third bass drum mounted on his far left that he would occasionally pound on like a war drum.


Allissa White-Gluz is a wonderfully talented vocalist who heralds serious pride in being the bad-ass, blue haired, vegan, animal activist, ethical metal head that she is. She has inspired a huge collection of people to live with a higher consciousnesses including many of the musicians she works with. Because of how open she is about her beliefs, she has become somewhat of an icon in the metal world for defying all stereotypes and truly living for a good cause beyond the music.


This band has a legacy behind it and should not be missed under any circumstances. This was a powerful and brilliant ending to a summer tradition that I hope with never stop. Summer Slaughter is only getting warmed up. It will be continuing to traumatize the rest of the U.S. until it reaches California in the end of August.


Photos by Nicci Allen

Dan Scheiman With an entirely open and unbiased obsession with music, Dan decided to take the opportunity given to him to share his thoughts for On Stage Review. Having been to hundreds of concerts of a variety of styles and genres over the years, he's no stranger to live music. He has been playing bass guitar for over twelve years now and has been dabbling in vocal work, drums, and piano for almost as long. Growing up listening to metal and industrial then transitioning into jazz and classical, and now having a particular love for funk or anything that grooves; his perspective comes from a well-rounded musical background and some amateur experience as a musician. He has too many favorite bands to list, but some of his favorite live experiences include: Sigur Ros, Porcupine Tree, Papadosio, Tool, The Ocean, Animals As Leaders, Lettuce, and of course, Victor Wooten.