Review Summary: erratic, but catchy.
Once in a while, I come across a band or album that completely knocks my socks off. Something so incredible, so unfathomably good, that an ocean of positive words could never express my true feelings towards its greatness. As the years go by, it’s getting more difficult to find anything that will wow me anymore, so when it comes, many a joyful tear are shed. When the pinnacle of awesomeness is found, a new world of music is open to explore, and suddenly, music looks absolutely fascinating again. When the new music you find puts an instant smile on your face, you know that you found the next awesome thing. If isn’t already fairly obvious, let me put it to you straight – I like this album.
A ballstothewall power metal/melodic death metal band, Amaranthe are taking a genre collision, which has been done before (countless times), to exhilarating levels. Point and contest is the band’s lineup; the band is in fact, a supergroup. All proficient, they leave nothing to be desired with any of their performances. An extremely synchronized band, this power metal group does it like the good old days, with a knack for speed. Chock in a few cheesy choruses and you’ll soon figure out what this band is about. They know perfectly well that they’re silly, but this band certainly isn’t making compromises, nor should they. It is a shame, though, that most of the choruses sound almost exactly the same.
Combining power metal’s speed/melodies with heavy riffs, breakdowns, and a multitude of screams, Amaranthe lean toward the aggressive side. However, despite an apparent focus on creating music much heavier than your typical power metal band, the band is still open to diversity. The album provides large doses of melody, and with an excellent use of synthesizers, the songs are all sugary fun. More diversity comes from the play between the female and male lead singers, switching on and off where appropriate. A person used solely for screams also improves the mix, so yes, Amaranthe’s vocal diversity is difficult to compete with. The winning point of this collaboration is that all vocalists are fantastic. The lead female singer, especially, deserves her own band, yet one has to admit her effectiveness when paired with Dreamland’s vocalist - it is an incredibly effective duo.
Unfortunately, no matter how good the album is, there will be many naysayers. For starters, Amaranthe
is one of the more brazenly silly albums in a while, and those who already loathe power metal will undoubtedly wish to repel cheese of that magnitude. Also, the catchiness of the music and vocal attack could be considered too poppy for some, and we all know how little metal fans like pop. Amaranthe’s debut album takes an open mind to listen to it, the kind of person who really doesn’t care if something is silly, as long as they enjoy it. This debut album may be erratic, but it sure is catchy.