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Burning Japan - Live 1999
(Toy's Factory)

Some people might wonder that ARCH ENEMY already decided to release an official live-album after only three regular studio records and seemingly not too much live-presence in the Metal circuit. Then again the story starts to make sense if you consider that ARCH ENEMY are the probably biggest extreme (Death) Metal band these days in the land of the rising sun in sales and they have already toured there plenty of times. "Burning Japan - Live 1999" indeed is a Japan-only release so far, so it might be a little difficult to purchase over here but in case you are into ARCH ENEMY, this is a very recommendable compilation of a beautifully packaged (16 pages photo booklet, poster, lyrics in Japanese, liner notes and extra card-box surrounding the CD case), well recorded, still raw and pure live performance with a tracklist that goes like this: 'The Immortal', 'Dark Insanity', 'Dead Inside', 'Diva Satanica', 'Pilgrim', 'Silverwing', 'Beast Of Man', 'Bass Intro/Tears Of The Dead', 'Bridge Of Destiny', 'Transmigration Macabre' and 'Angelclaw'. The sound quality probably went through some re-mixing but then again never sounds too fake and it's always cool to hear the Japanese audience scream out before a guitar lead takes place. ARCH ENEMY is surely on of the handful best melodic Death Metal bands out there these days and among those definitely the most underrated one if you consider the ever-present instrumental ability and outstanding songwriting on all releases so far. Let's hope they will be achieving the final worldwide breakthrough soon... and by the way ARCH ENEMY are currently in the studio finalizing recordings for their fourth studio album that will feature a yet not announced new vocalist. Watch out for another (soon to become) masterpiece...

Leif Jensen

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