Released: Oct 21, 2014
Genre: Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal, Modern Metal, Pop
Number Of Tracks: 12
It seems Amaranthe finally found their sound on "Massive Addictive" and the band members play off of each other equally, no member stands above the rest.
entropicxdisson, on october 23, 2014 8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: Swedish melodic metal band Amaranthe is one of metal's most unique, but also controversial bands. Metal purists deride them for their fusion of Swedish melodic death metal with pop hooks and eurodance keyboard/synthesizer lines. It seems that any time a vaguely "metal" band attracts a non-metal audience the "metal defenders" come yelling that they are "ruining metal." But if you take away the heavy detuned guitars, harsh vocals, and aggressive drumming Amaranthe is a pop band. Does that take away from their sound, no. This is because Amaranthe is the sum of all it's parts. Frontwoman Elize Ryd trades soaring vocal lines with fellow clean vocalist Jake E. These lines are interspersed with the rhythmic growls of new harsh vocalist Henrik Englund, who in my opinion is a much needed breathe of fresh air. He seems to be more of a natural than former growler Andreas Solvestrom. Guitarist Olof Mörck is the real shining star here, as opposed to Amaranthe's two previous albums, he seems to be in the forefront on many of the tracks here providing power metal-esque soaring guitar solos.
This fusion of death metal and pop sensibilities, reminds me of what could have happened if Jeff Walker of Carcass had "learned to sing" like Columbia tried to persuade him to during their brief partnership with Earache records in the mid 1990s. Overall Amaranthe's sound is very polished, the clean vocals are treated with effects found in much of modern pop music. The hooks on this album are incredibly catchy. // 9
Lyrics: At the core they are pop lyrics, so don't expect any intellectual or philosophical lyrics. They are written for the hooks to shine and elevate the song during the chorus. The singer skills on the other hand are excellent both Jake E and Elize Ryd excel at their craft trading soaring vocal lines typical of power metal vocalists. Harsh vocalist Henrik Englund's vocal lines help to reinforce the rhythm of the song. He is a very good harsh vocalist to introduce new listeners to the world of harsh vocals since most of his lyrics are understandable at first listen. // 7
Overall Impression: "Massive Addictive" is Amaranthe's best album to date. It seems they finally found their sound and the band members play off of each other equally, no member stands above the rest. My favorite songs are "Dynamite," "Trinity," "Digital World," the ballad "Over and Done," and "An Ordinary Abnormality." My only complaint about this album is sometimes the vocal effects can get tiresome. I like the fusion of the melodic death metal riffs with the pop keyboard lines, it reminds me of symphonic metal bands like Within Temptation, Epica, Delain, and Nightwish, but Amaranthe's keyboard lines are very different in the way they interplay with the guitar, it's more to create rhythm than atmosphere. // 8
RosetaStoned351, on march 22, 2015 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 9
Lyrics: 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." // 9
Overall Impression: 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. // 9