To aggro-music outsiders, In Flames' latest albums might be virtually indistinguishable from its early work; both eras emphasize heavy riffs, unfriendly shouts and rib-cracking drums. But there's a new vulnerability to the vocals, reminiscent of Korn's Jonathan Davis, and the guitars -- once united in melodic harmony -- are now staggered in big, dumb chunks. In Flames' opening act, Arch Enemy, metamorphosed in even rarer fashion. With a late-'90s lineup that included Michael Amott (ex-Carcass) and bassist/vocalist Johan Liiva (ex-Carnage), Arch Enemy was fluent in musical morbidity. But when Liiva left in 2001, Amott recruited his future wife, Angela Gossow, for the vacant vocalist spot. An industrial-strength, aggressively androgynous growler with high-end range, she emerged unscathed from trial-by-fire tours with Slayer and Motörhead in support of that year's Wages of Sin. As unsuspecting hecklers soon learned, Gossow's withering glare alone could sever limbs -- and "show us your tits"-chanting morons risk spontaneous castration.
Arch Enemy: aggro-strength power
Doors open at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $17; call 618-274-6720 for more information.