While the instrumental side of Arch Enemy has always involved thrashing-melodic metal, the vocal side of the band tremendously changed with Alissa White-Gluz coming on board. Prior to Alissa, Angela Gossow was the band’s vocalist, and offered listeners a guttural death metal presentation through her performance.
While Alissa also provides gutturals and death metal growls, she also brings a great deal of clean singing to the band – a sonic element that longtime fans of Arch Enemy may not be used to. Band guitarist Michael Amott recently took part in an interview with Loud magazine, and at one point, the interviewer brings up Alissa’s vocals, asking if her vocal talents open up avenues of creativity for the band. The interviewer also says that Alissa has encountered fans who are surprised to hear clean vocals in the band’s music.
While Amott speaks to both of these points, he also shares that he is not a fan of bands who go back and forth between screaming and clean singing. Here is everything Amott had to say:
“We all knew when [Alissa] joined the band in 2014, she came with an entire new toolbox of things that she could do vocally. That opened up a lot of doors for me as a songwriter. I can think about maybe replacing a guitar melody with a vocal melody instead, or having her carry the melody here. I’ve always done all the melodies on the guitar. And it’s still very guitar-based, there’s so many melodies going on.
“Maybe some of her most diehard fans probably think that I am, or we are holding her back, and she’s just dying to sing more clean on the albums. But that’s not actually the case. She loves to scream and do the extreme vocals, and that is of course the Arch Enemy signature sound, with my melodic guitar work and an extreme voice. Now I think moving forward, I’m pretty sure we’ll do more things like that. But as long as the melodies and the approach is right, and whatever feels right, whatever fits. We don’t want to try to force it.
“There are a lot of bands that do the screaming and the clean vocal, they go back and forth. A lot of it I’m not a fan of at all – most of it I would say, because I don’t feel like the melodies usually are metal, they sound more like a little boy singing in the chorus. It just doesn’t fit. It’s more like a pop sensibility to it, which is just not my taste at all, and it’s not what we want to do. As long as it’s metal, I’m all for it. And I love clean vocals – some of my favourite vocalists are who you would call ‘clean vocalists’, like Rob Halford, people like that, Ronnie James Dio. And I put David Vincent or these kinds of death metal singers up there as well. So we love both styles.”
What do you make of Amott’s points? If you are an Arch Enemy fan, do you prefer the vocal style of Alissa White-Gluz, or that of Angela Gossow?