Black Earth (Arch Enemy album)

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Black Earth
Studio album by
Released12 December 1996
RecordedFebruary–March 1996
StudioStudio Fredman
GenreMelodic death metal
LabelWrong Again
Regain (reissue)
Century Media (reissue)
ProducerFredrik Nordström, Michael Amott
Arch Enemy chronology
Black Earth
Singles from Black Earth
  1. "Bury Me an Angel"
    Released: 1996

Black Earth is the debut studio album by Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy. The album was reissued on 24 April 2007 on Regain Records, featuring "Losing Faith", two Iron Maiden covers and the video for "Bury Me an Angel".[1] The album was reissued again on 28 April 2023 in various formats, along with a visualiser for “Dark Insanity”.

Track listing[edit]

1."Bury Me an Angel"Michael AmottMichael Amott3:40
2."Dark Insanity"Johan Liiva
  • Michael Amott
  • Johan Liiva
3."Eureka"Michael Amott
  • Michael Amott
  • Christopher Amott
  • Michael Amott
  • Johan Liiva
5."Cosmic Retribution"Michael AmottMichael Amott4:00
6."Demoniality"InstrumentalMichael Amott1:19
7."Transmigration Macabre"Michael AmottMichael Amott4:09
8."Time Capsule"InstrumentalChristopher Amott1:09
9."Fields of Desolation"Johan Liiva
  • Michael Amott
  • Christopher Amott
Total length:32:44
Century Media and Regain reissue edition
10."Losing Faith"Johan Liiva
11."The Ides of March"InstrumentalSteve Harris1:46
Total length:37:46
Regain reissue edition
12."Aces High"Steve HarrisSteve Harris4:23
Total length:42:09
"The Ides of March" and "Aces High" are covers of Iron Maiden songs, from the albums Killers and Powerslave respectively.


Professional ratings
Review scores

Black Earth was critically well received. Anders Sandvall of Metal Rules stated that "the album is brilliant and there are no bad songs on it."[3] AllMusic's critic Alex Henderson wrote in his review that "Black Earth was a promising debut for Arch Enemy and is among the Swedish combo's more consistent and memorable efforts."[2]

Ron Salden of Archaic Magazine said that Black Earth is a classic and praised the songs writing they "showcase a fresh mixture of death/thrash metal whilst the Amott brothers rip their guitars exquisitely to delightful bits of melody, harmony lines, guitar licks and solos." He praised "Bury Me an Angel" and comments that the songs "Eureka", "Transmigration Macabre" and "Fields of Desolation" still sounds fresh in these days.[4] Chad Bowar of said that the album sound "was raw, but the songs still were very catchy with solid guitar work from Michael and Christopher Amott".[5]

About the songs, Metal Review's journalist Jason Jordan states: "'Dark Insanity' is arguably the best of the lot due to its fantastic riffs and leads, which Erlandsson backs up with a pummeling, and at times appropriately restrained, performance." He also comments that some songs like "Idolatress", "Cosmic Retribution", "Transmigration Macabre" and "Fields of Desolation" have praiseworthy characteristics too, though none quite match the verve of the openers. Jordan praised mainly the band members writing that "Black Earth is a solid outing of melodic death metal with each member in fine form", and that "the brothers Amott turn in excellent performances as the band's guitarists, Daniel Erlandsson provides backbone support from atop the throne, and Johan Liiva contributes his unique vocals to one of the better Arch Enemy efforts."[6]


Personnel credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[7]

Arch Enemy[edit]


  • Fredrik Nordström – production, engineering, mixing, keyboards
  • Wez Wenedikter – executive production, design
  • Baskim Zuta – assistant engineering
  • Miran Kim – cover art
  • Kenneth Johansson – band photography
  • Urszula Striner – model photography
  • Sara Grundquist – model
  • Johanna Lindskough – make-up artist
  • M&A Music Art – layout


  1. ^ "Arch Enemy: Black Earth to be reissued". 16 March 2007. Archived from the original on 24 March 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  2. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. "Review: Arch Enemy - Black Earth". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  3. ^ Sandvall, Anders (June 2002). "Arch Enemy - Black Earth". Metal Rules. Archived from the original on 2 September 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  4. ^ Salden, Ron (20 September 2005). "Arch Enemy - Black Earth". Archaic Magazine. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  5. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Arch Enemy - Black Earth". The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  6. ^ Jordan, Jason (29 May 2007). "Arch Enemy - Black Earth". Metal Review. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  7. ^ Black Earth (Media notes). Arch Enemy. Wrong Again Records. 1996.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)

External links[edit]