Arch Enemy - _Burning Japan Live_
(Century Media, 2000)
by: Paul Schwarz (8.5 out of 10)
A Japan-only release, this forty-eight minute live album, recorded at a single show, has a clear yet characteristic sound which places it in the rare category of being a live album well worth owning. The musical elements have a live-sounding rawness while retaining the subtleties which are such essential parts of Arch Enemy's masterful mixture of pure riff and metal melodies. Furthermore, Johan Liiva's vocal delivery is both powerful and expressive -- and similarly well-balanced and accentuated by the top-notch production. The set list focuses on Arch Enemy's last two releases, _Stigmata_ [CoC #32] and _Burning Bridges_ [CoC #41], with "Dark Insanity" and "Transmigration Macabre" from 1996's _Black Earth_ and "Diva Satanica" (_Burning Bridges_'s Japanese bonus track) being the three exceptions out of the eleven songs on offer here. The crowd are enthusiastically loud though their fanatical support is thankfully quite unintrusive to the enjoyment of the record. However, though good, _BJL_ does not seem worth shelling out extortionate import prices for, sight-unseen: I'd suggest trying to track it down by some other less costly method before you lay out large sums for a full, proper copy.

(article published 10/1/2001)

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