Amaranthe - Amaranthe review
|Release date:||April 2011|
01. Leave Everything Behind
03. 1.000.000 Lightyears
05. My Transition
08. Call Out My Name
09. Enter The Maze
10. Director's Cut
11. Act Of Desperation
13. Breaking Point [Japanese bonus]
14. A Splinter In My Soul [Japanese bonus]
Disc I [limited edition]
01. Hunger [video]
02. Amaranthine [video]
03. 2011 European Tour Documentary
04. Album Recording Studio Diaries
There are numerous aspects of Amaranthe's approach that constantly threaten to go horribly, horribly wrong. For starters, there are three singers in this band. I realize that this is nothing profound, but it is not like System Of A Down, in which there are three guys who sing - there are three people in this band whose main purpose is to do nothing but sing. That is a tad excessive, but, on top of that, one of them is a screamer. This could, in theory, make any band instantly sound metalcore (and false) as all hell, but in the case of Amaranthe, it adds some surprisingly tasteful heaviness at appropriate times. Of course, another one of the vocalists is female. Not to knock female metal singers, but let's face it; female-fronted metal bands are a dime a dozen these days, and for every respectable Nightwish or The SLoT there are a hundred generic power-pop bands just trying to draw attention with eye candy. Not so with Amaranthe; Elize Ryd has a captivating voice that perfectly complements the screams of Andreas Solveström and clean vocals of Jake E. Berg. Honestly, if the band had chosen any one or even two of these singers, I probably would have written them off fairly immediately. Yet the combination of the three makes for a unique and magnetizing sound.
Perhaps the other most recognizable aspect of Amaranthe's music is that every single song on this album is incredibly catchy. These tracks sound suspiciously like pop songs rewritten for a metal band. Yes, yes, I know. Melody = false, right? This is not even Amon Amarth-style "true" melody, this is radio-friendly melody. It only serves to add to their dangerously potent metalcore side. Yet… there is something amidst the breakdowns and pinch harmonics that makes me question my sanity enough to just enjoy it without any compunctions. Of course, they do still have that good old power metal bombast; in fact, this probably saves the band from being far falser than they already appear to be. Listening to "Hunger," you cannot help but picture some dude slaying large amounts of other dudes with a magical weapon of some kind. "Amaranthine" is also at the top of the heap, as far as ballads go.
This band is almost beyond description. The interplay between the three vocalists is mesmerizing, and the harmonies are heavenly at times. The production is surprisingly professional for such a new band, with that "everything all the way up" feel that modern artists seem to love. The melodies are infectious, and their appeal is almost inexplicable. Ultimately, Amaranthe is one album that cannot be summed up with mere words. Your first thought may be the same as mine ("WHAT THE HELL DID THEY DO TO MY METAL?!?!?"), but you have to just listen all the way through and give it a chance.
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