Sound — 9
Pop metal sensation Amaranthe's third album is in many ways a mix between the first two records, and in my opinion almost as good their self-titled debut. The band is famous for mixing pop and metal like no band has ever done before, and for having three vocalists; Elize Ryd with her mezzo-soprano range, Jake E. with his power metal range, and growler Henrik Englund, who replaced the bands previous growler Andreas "Andy" Sölveström, which to me sounded a lot better than Henrik. After a few listens however, I had totally forgotten that I wasn't listening to Andy, so it's just a matter of getting used to.
Amaranthe has always been good at kicking off their albums strong and "Massive Addictive" is no exception, the mid-paced and heavy opener "Dynamite" is a great way to start the record. Great riffs, fantastic verses and an awesome guitar solo are the highlights on one of the best songs on the record. Next is "Drop Dead Cynical," an up-beat, dance friendly tune that has a really contagious main riff. Great, catchy lyrics. The chorus sounds like an Alcazar song, which is a Swedish pop trio. I don't like the autotune, but at least it's only used as a short enhancement effect. The same thing goes for the other songs with effects on this album. The opening is rounded off by "Trinity"; the most "Nexus" like song on this album. Nice riffs and piano melodies, I really dig the verses and the chorus. This opening is definitely on par with "Afterlife," "Invincible" & "The Nexus" from the last album and "Leave Everything Behind," "Hunger" & "1,000,000 Lightyears" from the "Amaranthe" record.
The title track is one of the weaker songs, a bit slow and boring. The band then quickly redeem themselves with a real highlight; "Digital World." The riffs are up-beat and heavy and the song structure is just perfect. Cool second part of the verse, nice breakdown and amazingly catchy chorus, you can't help but sing along. The semi-ballad "True" is my favorite song on the record and definitely one of the bands best. A fantastic piano melody, great singing and a beautiful chorus makes this a song to remember. Next is another strong track; "Unreal." Best is the catchy keyboard lead that plays during the chorus and main riff. I'm not a big fan of ballads, but "Over and Done" is a much better song than last times "Burn With Me." "Danger Zone" features some very impressive singing by Elize after the guitar solo, but the chorus never really kicks off. "Skyline" on the other hand, has a fantastic chorus and really awesome verses. Then we have "An Ordinary Abnormality," the fastest and most metal song the band has ever written. Impressive drumming and nice guitar solo. The album ends with "Exhale," which to me is a pretty mediocre closing track.
Lyrics — 9
The band delivers catchy lyrics and outstanding vocal melodies in almost every song. Apart from some unnecessary vocal effects, the singing is absolutely fantastic. My only complaint is that Jake's vocals during the chorus on some songs should have been higher in the mix, and Henrik's growling is not as good as Andy's. Their range is pretty equal, but Andy's growl sounds a lot better to me. The lyrics are just as good as on "Amaranthe" and "The Nexus"; great, but not amazing. There are a few times on every album where the lyrics almost cross the line into cheesiness, but the only song from the band that I can't stand because of the lyrics is "Razorblade."
Here's what the lyrics can look like: "You will never have to cry, cause the future is sold. You can never die and you'll never grow old. But everything surrounding you is digital. Never break the mold, you do as you're told. Freedom is for sale, if you give them control. Erase return, in a digital world."
The more ballad type of lyrics can look like this: "This is the time for chasing my desires, what's in my heart is true. And if my dreams set everything on fire, then I would still belong to you."
Overall Impression — 9
Amaranthe has only been releasing music since 2011, but has a rapidly growing fan base and have already entered the Billboard charts. "Massive Addictive" peaked at #105 on the Billboard 200. When compared against the two previous albums, "MA" is definitely slightly better than "The Nexus," but not as good as "Amaranthe," which was very ahead of it's time. All three album have 12 tracks and on the first album every single song was great, including the bonus tracks, which are just good as most songs on "The Nexus." On this album, 9 songs are great and 3 songs are just good. The best songs are "Drop Dead Cynical," "Dynamite," "True" & "Digital World."
Unless you're a metal elitist, you should check this band out, cause this might just be the next big thing in metal, or at least the biggest thing since metalcore.