Amaranthe are back with sophomore album ‘The Nexus’ and, as you might expect (if you are familiar with them), this is going to split the metal listening community straight down the middle. They are what I call ‘The Ultimate Marmite Band’ combining Metal, Melodic Death, Trance and Pop in equal measures. Whether you view this with a 2-3 or a 7-8 score will very much depend on what side of the fence you sit (no room for Lib-Dems with this band!). I was first introduced to Amaranthe in April 2011 supporting Kamelot and was actually very impressed with the triple vocal attack (yes, they use three; merging male screams, male clean and female clean to very good effect) and the insanely catchy choruses. Although they came across way more poppy on CD I still enjoyed it, although the songs followed a very similar structure and tended to be forgotten once the CD had finished playing. However, the album was a big seller (by today’s standards anyway) and they have made an impact, especially in mainland Europe. Vocalist Elize Ryd has also, in recent months, been touring as a backing singer within Kamelot’s ranks, thereby raising Amaranthe’s profile even further.
‘The Nexus’ is definitely an improvement on that debut, with all the songs being sharper in the writing department and the band providing such catchy songs that ABBA would indeed be proud of. Elize is once again joined by Andreas Solvestrom (male screams) and Jake. E (male clean) which really works well, despite their differing approaches. Olof Mörck (guitars & keyboards) provides plenty of heavy riffs and solos to mix with the trance synths. Along with Johan Andreassen (bass) and Morten Løwe Sørensen (drums), who supply a thunderous rhythm section, Amaranthe have produced a crossover metal album that will see their name mentioned with much more regularity in the coming weeks, months and years. Produced by the increasingly in demand Jacob Hansen things are looking good for this bunch. But...if you are a metal fan who doesn’t like keyboards, female vocals, pop, trance, dance or screams (and there are thousands of you) this will be seen as generic, cheesy, bordering on the ludicrous and aimed at teenage girls who think that Bring Me The Horizon are the epitome of metal. At the moment I like Amaranthe and think they’ve got the balance just about right for what they are trying to achieve. However, if they veer anymore towards pop territory, even broadminded little me will say enough is enough.
Review by Rick Tilley
25th March 2013
1) Afterlife; 2) Invincible
3) The Nexus; 4) Theory of Everything
6) Burn With Me
7) Mechanical Ellusion
9) Future on Hold
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...Amaranthe have produced a crossover metal album that will see their name mentioned with much more regularity in the coming weeks, months and years."