Amaranthe
Helix


2.5
average

Review

by Robert Garland STAFF
October 28th, 2018 | 70 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Amaranthe unveil their true Helix.

The world of modern listening has certainly become a jaded affair. A multitude of new bands offering old-er sounds are as quickly shunned as the old-er bands that try something new are dismissed. Both fans and critics alike offer confusion to the bands releasing new music, offering little to no direction in what they actually want to hear. Despite the outward unhelpfulness of listeners in the modern day there are those albums that defy classification into the categories mentioned above. Amaranthe’s newest offering, Helix is just one of those records that creates both joy and moments of cringe as it proceeds through its forty one minute run time. Convolution. Not unlike defining the helix itself Amaranthe allows itself neither to be over or even underrated, sitting exactly in the middle, while falling incredibly short of being a raging success. Helix showcases just how an album can have ‘everything’ yet achieve nothing simultaneously. There are moments of greatness, of bliss achieved in the very foundations of sounds that would normally disassociate the very listeners waiting for that all important uniqueness.

At times tracks are barely discernible from each other instrumentally. The often up tempo, clean male/clean female/nu-metal harsh wrap stylings of the vocals blend from one to the next continuing predictably up til the nth degree. The rhythmic “365” pushes on the very limits of predictable cheese, making the most of the group’s female vocal efforts in Elize Ryd (to which the entirety of Helix is [thankfully] centred). If you’re at a loss to what a vocal hook actually is, Amaranthe’s newest piece barely goes a minute without one, painstakingly creating each chorus to be as infectious as possible. It’s this overused ability to meld song title and chorus together that draws the listener in, before they hate themselves for it. Despite an ability to overbear as much as sonically possible throughout the album’s forty one minute run time, Amaranthe manage to entrap their listeners in the music they love to hate. “Inferno” borrows from the mainstream and even the less practiced listener can hear snippets of Ed Sheeran’s vocal syncopation. “Countdown” continues in the same systemic vein, without remorse or slowed tempo. The half screamed nu-metal rap stylings of Wilhelmsson belt into the pop leanings of Amaranthe’s core and combine all too well into the triple vocal efforts.

Unfortunately, the group’s newest vocalist Nils Molin is also the album’s “weak link”. As unfair as it is to lump dissatisfaction on what is one part of this Gothenburg based powerhouse, Molin’s cleans don’t mesh properly into the Amaranthe framework. It could be his entry into the band just last year, but most of his lines are forced and unnatural. See the opening lines of “Breakthrough Starshot” where Molin namedrops Lady Godiva before teaming up with the other two thirds of Amaranthe’s vocal team. Fairly, his melodic croon does manage to soar on the piano led “Unified” unveiling just how this band leans too heavily on always having three vocalists belt notes into the listeners’ ears. “Unified” also allows a glimpse of the band’s potential assuming they turned down the overly ambitious pop leanings. Well placed guitar solos, ringing vocal harmonies and just enough harsh noise to stay “metal” enough for their fan base. A few more power ballads like this and Amaranthe could really make waves.

When it comes down to it, Amaranthe can actually write music. Helix is certainly an example of that simple fact, but there’s as many positives to take away from the group’s newest album as there is negatives. Where the music sounds natural, Amaranthe excel. But where this Swedish myriad of styles push too hard the music becomes forced and unnecessary. Trim down a couple of meandering motifs, take away some of the overwhelming layering and what’s left is a showcase. Amaranthe’s music may be designed to be as wide reaching as humanly possible by bridging multiple genres but it’s just as likely to lose as many listeners as it gains.



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user ratings (62)
3
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2018


17260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Almost forgot that I reviewed The Nexus five bloody years ago. Time flying haha.



Anyway, in before Tyman realises he didn’t review this himself

alamo
October 28th 2018


4998 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

very good review, although i disagree that the harsh rapping works and actually find it extremelly unpleasant here. i mostly love the pop-metal blend amaranthe brings but if you're going to borrow from hip hop it's important not to sound like you're in fourth grade. my favourite track is the t/t despite the rapping it's soooooo catchy

alamo
October 28th 2018


4998 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

and the chorus on "inferno" is literally "shape of you"

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2018


17260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

although i disagree that the harsh rapping works



It works, they’re just overused and too reliant on them.

Hawks
October 28th 2018


75358 Comments


Wow this is probably awful.

Toondude10
October 28th 2018


14888 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

not awful, just not really interesting

alamo
October 28th 2018


4998 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

imo they're overused, out of place and they sound almost comical at times

AnimalsAsSummit
October 28th 2018


5986 Comments


But Amaranth the peddler waxes poetic to Mnemosyne...

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2018


17260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Possibly, I mean if they wanted

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2018


28254 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nocte with the whip! Nice review man, gonna check this just because, but yeah I predict low cost metal at its best.

Digging: Autumn's Grey Solace - Within the Depths of a Darkened Forest

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2018


17260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just waiting for Pizza to hit the thread with his 5/5

Wildcardbitchesss
October 29th 2018


6905 Comments


Can we talk about that awful cover art for a moment

Digging: Wheeler Walker Jr. - Redneck Shit

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2018


17260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

We can. Where would you like to start? The bad photoshop or the off centre everything?

Wildcardbitchesss
October 29th 2018


6905 Comments


Or the absolute cornball aesthetic.

Wildcardbitchesss
October 29th 2018


6905 Comments


It looks like a shitty superhero movie poster

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2018


17260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The Nexus is better agreed.

Hawks
October 29th 2018


75358 Comments


Yeah the album cover tells me all I need to know about this tbh.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2018


17260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The new Outre would be more your jam Hawks.

Hawks
October 29th 2018


75358 Comments


Hmmm never heard of them. Will czech. m/

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2018


17260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Here’s a premeditated “You’re welcome”



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