Jeff Loomis Didn’t Write Any of the Material on the New Arch Enemy Album

  • Axl Rosenberg

I’ve heard Arch Enemy’s new album, Will to Power, and rest assured, it lives up to the band’s usual high standards of melodeath. It also sounds very much like Arch Enemy. I know that may seem obvious, but given that Power is the band’s first album with guitar god Jeff Loomis, you may have been expecting the band to strike out in some new and different directions. When I first heard Will to Power, I thought, “Wow, Loomis really adapted his writing style to Arch Enemy!”

As it turns out, I thought wrong… because Loomis didn’t write any of the songs on the record. Guitarist/founder Michael Amott explained to Malcolm Dome (transcription courtesy of Blabbermouth):

“[Jeff is] a strong songwriter, but not in the style of Arch Enemy, I feel. He’s always writing and recording with his own stuff. He has a project called Conquering Dystopia, he has his solo stuff, [and] he obviously wrote most of the Nevermore stuff. I’ve always respected him, and continue to respect him, as a guitar player — he’s amazing and an amazing human being; he fits in perfectly. [There’s] a great chemistry [between us]. But, you know, I’ve always written most of the music, so it’s difficult to… I don’t really wanna change the sound of the band too much. The band sort of started around my songwriting and my ideas, and those continue to be the most dominant ones, I guess. But, you know, who knows [what can happen] in the future?”

On the one hand, I’d love to hear what a Loomis-penned or even co-penned Arch Enemy song would sound like; on the other hand, like I said, Will to Power is excellent, so as a fan of both the guitarist and Arch Enemy, it’s tough to complain. And Loomis acolytes (myself included) can take comfort knowing a) this isn’t the first time Loomis has played on material he didn’t write, and b) the dude still contributes plenty of gnarly solos to the album, all of which we can safely assume he played a major part in crafting. So it’s not as though Loomis’s talents are being wasted or whatever.

Will to Power comes out September 8 on Century Media; check out the first single here and pre-order the album here. The band launches a co-headlining tour with Trivium at the end of October; get dates here.

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