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Amaranthe – Massive Addictive Review

Band: Amaranthe
Album: Massive Addictive
Label: Spinefarm
Genre: Melodic Death Metal / Power Metal
Country: Sweden
Release Date: October 21st, 2014

 

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Either you love them, or you hate them. They’re about the most divisive European metal band at the moment: Amaranthe are releasing their newest effort Massive Addictive. I’m part of the people who love this band. I’ve been a fan since their first album. They conquered Sweden, Europe, even the US by storm, mixing poppy Eurodance elements with MeloDeath and Power Metal. Many elitist metal fans were and are yelling that they are “ruining metal”. I think it’s the exact opposite: they’re helping to bring metal, even with harsh vocals, to the masses. And I wonder why they haven’t had even bigger success doing that. This effort could bring them the big break-through. One and a half years after The Nexus they’re releasing Massive Addictive. What’s different from the previous album? In October 2013, harsh vocalist Solveström left the band and was replaced by Henrik Englund. I think Solveström was a great vocalist, but the new one fits in even better. With his deep growls he manages to create some sort of rhythm in contrast to the melodic hooks. When you hear Amaranthe, you immediately think of the three vocalists: Elize with her angel-like soaring vocals, Jake with his power metal voice and Henrik and his harsh vocals. Many tend to forget about Olof, the guitar player. On this album he’s really able to shine. There are a lot of solos where he shows his skills. Overall I think this album is a bit heavier than the previous two efforts. Once again they’re relying on one of metal’s best producers, Jacob Hansen. An absolutely right decision. So, what does this album sound like? Let’s get it on.

The album couldn’t start in a more explosive way than it does with the song Dynamite. Elize really overshadows the guys with her energetic performance on this one. Very powerful song, followed by the first single, which I’m not the biggest fan of. To me it sounds like they were trying to get heavier with this one. I can definitely hear some industrial elements in this one. The next four songs are the strongest in my opinion. Trinity symbolizes the band and their singers. Amaranthe have three singers and the song is the third on the third album, their logo is a triangle. Everything comes together and there are a lot of 3s. A more calm song, not as straight forward as Drop Dead Cynical. My absolute favorite song on this effort is the title song. Catchiness in perfection. A lot of electronic and synthesizer effects and an awesome chorus. You might not expect intellectual lyrics to think about, but Digital World criticizes how society lives more and more in the Digital World, instead of going out and meeting people. Even if it is a song you can party to, there’s still a meaning behind it. And the lyrics fit perfectly with the music. Where are the ballads, you ask? I can calm you down, Amaranthe didn’t forget to include a couple of beautiful ballads, True and Over And Done take you into the clouds and invite you to dream away. The last song is called Exhale. After two, three weaker songs finally a catchy as fuck beautiful song with a chorus that I have heard somewhere else, but can’t remember where or when. I have to say that the first part of the album is quite a bit better than the second part. This seems to happen often recently.

Nevermind, overall this is a very strong album and Amaranthe seem to have found their sound. Another band with an awesome progress from album to album. I immensely enjoyed listening to this one and I’m still wondering why they don’t have even greater commercial success. I mean, this is better than most pop songs, but still easy to listen to. I can’t see why 12 or 13 year old girls shouldn’t listen to this band instead of Rihanna and Miley. I’m pretty sure they will in a couple of years, at least I hope so, I wouldn’t recommend this album to die hard extreme metal fans. Well, maybe they might like it to. At least some of ’em. As long as you listen to this with an open mind, everything’s possible. I recommend this to everybody who is into pop/dance music and/or rock/melodic metal. My favorite tracks are Massive Addictive, Digital World and Exhale. Now I’m off to buy a new keyboard, cause this fucking thing is driving me nuts. It took me like 2 hours to write this.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Tracklist:
1. Dynamite
2. Drop Dead Cynical
3. Trinity
4. Massive Addictive
5. Digital World
6. True
7. Unreal
8. Over and Done
9. Danger Zone
10. Skyline
11. An Ordinary Abnormality
12. Exhale

Total Playing Time: 41:03

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