Stigmata (Arch Enemy album)

Stigmata is the second studio 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 25 May 2009, featuring a new layout, packaging, and bonus tracks.[1] Stigmata not only contains a title track, but a track named after their previous album as well. The Sri Lankan metal band Stigmata named themselves after this album.

Studio album by
Released5 May 1998
RecordedOctober 1997, January 1998
StudioStudio Fredman
GenreMelodic death metal
LabelCentury Media
ProducerFredrik Nordström, Michael Amott
Arch Enemy chronology
Black Earth
Burning Bridges
Alternative cover
Deluxe Edition cover


Professional ratings
Review scores
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[3]

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."[2] 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."[3]

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."[3] 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]

Track listing

1."Beast of Man"Michael AmottChristopher Amott, M. Amott3:36
2."Stigmata"InstrumentalM. Amott2:12
3."Sinister Mephisto"M. AmottM. Amott5:46
4."Dark of the Sun"M. AmottC. Amott, M. Amott7:00
5."Let the Killing Begin"Johan Liiva, M. AmottC. Amott, M. Amott5:19
6."Black Earth"Liiva, M. AmottM. Amott6:39
7."Tears of the Dead"M. AmottM. Amott5:56
8."Vox Stellarum"InstrumentalFredrik Nordström2:08
9."Bridge of Destiny"M. AmottC. Amott, M. Amott7:44
Deluxe Edition
10."Hydra" (from Japanese Edition)InstrumentalC. Amott, Nordström0:57
11."Diva Satanica" (from Japanese Edition)M. AmottC. Amott, M. Amott3:44
12."Damnation's Way" (from Japanese Edition)Liiva, M. AmottLiiva, M. Amott3:50
13."Diva Satanica" (from Burning Japan Live 1999)M. AmottC. Amott, M. Amott4:05
14."Beast of Man" (from Burning Japan Live 1999)M. AmottC. Amott, M. Amott3:38
15."Bass Intro/Tears of the Dead" (from Burning Japan Live 1999)M. AmottSharlee D'Angelo, M. Amott6:05
16."Bridge of Destiny" (from Burning Japan Live 1999)M. AmottC. Amott, M. Amott5:42


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

Arch Enemy

Additional Musicians


  • Fredrik Nordströmproducer, engineer
  • 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


  1. "Arch Enemy guitarist says band will have new studio recording available by October". June 5, 2009. Archived from the original on September 26, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
  2. Anderson, Jason. "Review: Arch Enemy - Stigmata". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  3. Schwarz, Paul (July 8, 1998). "Arch Enemy - Stigmata". Chronicles of Chaos. Archived from the original on August 23, 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.CS1 maint: others (link)
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