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Amaranthe
Amaranthe
Type: CD
Company: Spinefarm
Release: 2011
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Frank Hill
Published: 3/13/2013
Beauty & the Beast metal
Beauty & the Beast metal distilled from mildly abrasive metalcore/melodic-death riffage mixed with the poppier side of Swedish rock. Amaranthe has a hybrid sound inspired by bands like In Flames, Soilwork, ABBA and even Joey Tempest's Europe that will garner strong opinions of love and hate.

Three vocalists, yep, three...smooth guy--Jake E (Dreamland, Dream Evil), harsh guy--Andreas Solveström, and clean female Elize Ryd, who could be in the running for hottest chick in metal, trade off positive lyrics above stuttery, modern guitar, rapid fire drums and sugary keyboards. It sounds like Disturbed and Stratovarius met on stage for an unholy concert finale.

The song structures are formulaic and the choruses mostly interchangeable--I think I could swap most with an audio editing program and you'd be none the wiser--but it's a different approach and different approaches keep metal from genre stagnation. There's an interesting payoff here that makes the hard edges a little softer and the soft a little harder. For me, it works but in small doses like any sugar substitute. I might just use the choruses as a weapon to take over the world.

How ironic is it that nothing on the album is designed to artistically offend, yet seasoned headbangers may cringe at the slick, commercial perfection. To those who aren't so inclined to worry about it this debut is a sweet prize.
About this Writer:
Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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AmarantheAmaranthe
2011
Frank Hill3/13/2013


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