Stigmata (Arch Enemy album)

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Stigmata
Studio album by Arch Enemy
Released April 21, 1998
Recorded October 1997 – January 1998 at Studio Fredman
Genre Melodic death metal
Length 46:22
Label Century Media
Producer Fredrik Nordström, Michael Amott
Arch Enemy chronology
Black Earth
(1996)
Stigmata
(1998)
Burning Bridges
(1999)
Alternative cover
Deluxe Edition cover

Stigmata is the second album by Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy. The album was Arch Enemy's first to see worldwide release, in Europe and North America on Century Media Records, and in Japan again on Toy's Factory records. Stigmata features session drummer Peter Wildoer, who had also appeared in Christopher Amott's solo project Armageddon on the 1997 album Crossing the Rubicon, shortly before the recording of the album. The album was reissued on May 25, 2009, featuring a new layout, packaging, and bonus tracks.[1] Stigmata not only contains a title track, but a title track for their previous album as well. The Sri Lankan metal band Stigmata named themselves after this album.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Beast of Man"   Michael Amott Christopher Amott, M. Amott 3:36
2. "Stigmata"   Instrumental M. Amott 2:12
3. "Sinister Mephisto"   M. Amott M. Amott 5:46
4. "Dark of the Sun"   M. Amott C. Amott, M. Amott 7:00
5. "Let the Killing Begin"   Johan Liiva, M. Amott C. Amott, M. Amott 5:19
6. "Black Earth"   Liiva, M. Amott M. Amott 6:39
7. "Tears of the Dead"   M. Amott M. Amott 5:56
8. "Vox Stellarum"   Instrumental Fredrik Nordström 2:08
9. "Bridge of Destiny"   M. Amott C. Amott, M. Amott 7:44
Deluxe Edition
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
10. "Hydra" (from Japanese Edition) Instrumental C. Amott, Nordström 0:57
11. "Diva Satanica" (from Japanese Edition) M. Amott C. Amott, M. Amott 3:44
12. "Damnation's Way" (from Japanese Edition) Liiva, M. Amott Liiva, M. Amott 3:50
13. "Diva Satanica" (from Burning Japan Live 1999) M. Amott C. Amott, M. Amott 4:05
14. "Beast of Man" (from Burning Japan Live 1999) M. Amott C. Amott, M. Amott 3:38
15. "Bass Intro/Tears of the Dead" (from Burning Japan Live 1999) M. Amott Sharlee D'Angelo, M. Amott 6:05
16. "Bridge of Destiny" (from Burning Japan Live 1999) M. Amott C. Amott, M. Amott 5:42

Reception[edit]

Arch Enemy have gone back to the classics like Iron Maiden or Helloween and successfully injected much of what made traditional metal classic into the body of their primarily 90s death metal sound. The results are -very- successful and this mixing is what makes Stigmata a great album. Arch Enemy introduce blinding solos of epic length straight after belting out viciously bassy riffs and deep powerful vocals: a beautiful contrast.

– Paul Schwarz, Chronicles of Chaos[2]

Stigmata received mixed reviews by critics, who compared it with the previous Arch Enemy album, Black Earth. Jason Anderson of Allmusic noted that "as often happens with highly anticipated follow-ups, Stigmata disappointed some fans with what some called a more restrained sound and lesser material" and criticized the singer Johan Liiva and the addition of the session drummer Peter Wildoer. Nevertheless, Anderson praised Michael Amott stating that "these problems are really minor when balanced against Amott's massive playing and songwriting, so while Stigmata is a fraction off from the band's debut form, Arch Enemy still delivers some nice melodic death metal on the sophomore effort."[3] Paul Schwarz of Chronicles of Chaos first noted that "Arch Enemy have made an interesting, and slightly unexpected, progression from their Black Earth debut of two years ago". He commented that the band "have not drawn their 'melody' from pop or even folk" and what characterises the difference between both albums "can be summed up in three words: classic heavy metal." Schwarz finished with a good review writing that "overall Stigmata is a great album and one of the best directions Arch Enemy could have chosen to follow after their critical success with Black Earth."[2]

Critics Paul Schwarz and EvilG mentioned that the sounds resembles to the Carcass album Heartwork. Schwarz mentions and compares again Black Earth: "Opener "Beast of Man" kicks in with searing riffing and thundering double bass, which creates the false impression that the new material will be far more like the Heartwork era Carcass sound which characterised much of Black Earth. Arch Enemy have, in fact, gone the opposite way - in terms of heaviness, not quality -, and produced an album which utilises far more melody, especially in its choruses, than BE did."[2] EvilG of Metal Rules praises writing that "I think the reason why this CD is so great is that it has re-captured the Carcass Heartwork sound and feel while at the same time incorporating more melody and even some power metal sounds."[4]

Personnel[edit]

Personnel credits adapted from Stigmata album liner notes.[5]

Arch Enemy[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Fredrik Nordströmproducer, engineer, keyboards, grand piano
  • Göran Finnberg – mastering
  • Segerfalk X – original artwork, design, masques design and photography
  • Kristian Gunnemo – masques design and photography
  • Carl Ljungberg – band photography
  • Kris Verwimp – frontcover artwork

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Arch Enemy guitarist says band will have new studio recording available by October". Blabbermouth.net. June 5, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Schwarz, Paul (July 8, 1998). "Arch Enemy - Stigmata". Chronicles of Chaos. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ Anderson, Jason. "Review: Arch Enemy - Stigmata". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  4. ^ G, Evil (August 1998). "Arch Enemy - Stigmata". Metal Rules. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ Stigmata (Media notes). Arch Enemy. Century Media Records. 1998. 

External links[edit]