Sound — 9
This band is quite unlike any band I've really ever heard before... They present a really unique blend of eurodance and pop music and melodic death/power metal, with three members sharing vocal duties - Elize Ryd, Jake E Berg, Andy Solvestrm - two singers and a harsh vocalist. The music itself is pretty well-crafted, the players are all very competent although none outshine the vocalists. The guitarist does nothing really virtuosic aside from a couple of the solos, and is mostly delegated to rhythmic duties along with the bass (which is seldom heard). Rounding up the rhythm section, the drummer provides intermittent bursts of double bass every now and then to really get things going. The melodies provided by the singers and the very prominent keyboards are extremely catchy and the three vocalists really provide for a lot of variety and dynamic not otherwise found in metal. And as far as the metal goes, it's heavy and it's quick and the riffs are very melodic death metal-oriented.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are nothing to write home about really; love, life, relationships, fate, emotions - that sort of stuff. That doesn't mean they're bad, however; they fit very well with the musical style, I'd say. Both singers are skilled, but Elize is put in the forefront, delivering most of the vocals on the album while the other two share the rest. The harsh vocals are a sort of shouting/growling style, and they assist in providing an edge to the music, which might not pack so much of a punch without.
Overall Impression — 9
The impression I got from this album was that it was a very interesting mesh of genres that surprisingly worked very well. I'm impressed. Amaranthe has already toured with Kamelot, a pretty big name in the melodic/power metal scene, so I can see them receiving a fair amount of publicity in the near future. The writing is solid, the music is catchy and well-played, and the three vocalists - particularly Elize - are definitely the highlight of this production. There's a lot of good songs on this album: with the opener "Hunger", "1,000,000 Lightyears", the very dance-able "Call Out My Name", and the only ballad on the album, "Amaranthine", this is definitely a release that could even convert some non-metalheads into listeners. I would definitely buy this again if I lost it. Solid, solid first full-length effort.