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Amaranthe - 2014 Massive Addictive

ARTIST: Amaranthe
ALBUM: Massive Addictive
LABEL: Spnefarm
YEAR: 2014


LINEUP: Olof M÷rck - bass, guitars, keyboards * Johan Andreassen - bass * Morten L°we S°rensen - drums * Jake E Berg - vocals (clean) * Elize Ryd - vocals (female) * Henrik Englund - vocals (harsh)

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dynamite * 02 Drop Dead Cynical * 03 Trinity * 04 Massive Addictive * 05 Digital World * 06 True * 07 Unreal * 08 Over And Over * 09 Danger Zone * 10 Skyline * 11 An Ordinary Abnormality * 12 Exhale



Well, 2013 and 2014 has been the year of Swedish melodic metal sensations Amaranthe. I've written glowing articles of their first two albums, though I'll admit it's taken me a bit longer to get around to their third effort: 'Massive Addictive'. The reason? I saw the advance video of their first single 'Drop Dead Cynical', and it did absolutely nothing for my senses. Sensing a massive disappointment coming on, I picked up the album anyway, and cowered in a corner wondering what I was going to hear. Certainly, Olof M÷rck did give everyone advance warning that the new album was going to be different, not that it was news to hard-core Amaranthe fans, as everything the band had ever done was very very different anyway! I like the contrasting ideas and styles the band achieves; and they can definitely bridge a wide demographic with their music.

The Songs
So should I be concerned after my initial indifference? Of course not. Silly me. Elize Ryd leads the way on the opener 'Dynamite', which fuses trance metal into the core. 'Drop Dead Cynical' isn't as bad as I first remembered, but I'll also qualify it as saying it isn't their best tune either. Perhaps Management thought this could be an ice-breaker as a single? I'm not so convinced. 'Trinity' brings out the unique attributes of each of the three lead vocalists, this one is much better and feels like it could sit on either of the first two albums. The title-track 'Massive Addictive' is full of anthemic parts, and builds purposefully over its duration. 'Digital World' is absolute killer stuff, the best on the album so far. Pure energy and power.

Loose, liquid and free-flowing are appropriate terms to apply to 'True'; the emphasis on melody rather than power. You could call it a power-ballad, only just. 'Over And Done' definitely fits the ballad category, a brief respite, before 'Danger Zone' hits the senses. There's another song-title that is overly-subscribed ('isn't that right Alun?' lol!) Things go up-town with 'Skyline', dentist drilling drum-work alongside OTT guitar riffs fits the Amaranthe template to a tee! L°we S°renson drives hard yet again with his drum work off the scale on 'An Ordinary Abnormality', a timekeeper extraordinare, the album finishing with the restrained 'Exhale', amid ambient piano and soaring vocals.

In Summary
Of the three Amaranthe albums thus far, I feel that 'Massive Addictive' is slightly behind the first two. Unless I spend an inordinate amount of time with this one, will it move ahead in popularity' but I somehow don't think so. Certainly, there has been great attention focused around the vocal arrangements, while the guitar though prominent, is also less dominant. I will spend as much time as I can with 'Massive Addictive', but I also have a massive backlog of albums and articles to write, so we'll see how we go.

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#1 | Jez on November 26 2014 19:09:26
Everything on this seems to have gone up a notch or 2 from the other 2 albums, and whilst of course this is familiar territory style wise, I think the songs have bigger choruses, that stick in the brain straightaway and are even more 'Poppier' than before. Still plenty of heavy riffs going on, but loads of melody too. Can honestly say there is isn't a bad song on here and a good few huge ones. Great stuff

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