A crisp-sounding, modern metal release, Amaranthe cleverly combine the most popular modern metal types with pop music on their eponymous debut . Now, this pop approach to metal is immediately going to turn off a lot of metalheads, and it already has, but – unlike other Swedish metal bands who combine pop and metal – Amaranthe do not come across as sell-outs; on the contrary, their music is both catchy and rock solid.
Metal-wise, their core style is a type of Euro-power metal, but delivered in the heavy Gothenburg sound, which has its origins in melodic death metal, and there are also elements of melodeath and melodic metalcore in many of the tunes on this album. The riffage is often heave and groovy, while the choruses, true to the genre of Euro-power metal, are uplifting, melodic and catchy. Those who like metalcore breakdowns can loo forward to a couple of those, too. As with Raintime, which Amaranthe is quite close to in style, there is an extensive use of electronica elements and synths on this album, some of which are very close to what you hear in modern pop and dance music (some is a bit too close for my tastes, I must admit).
There are three vocalists: Jake E. Berg (clean male vocals), Eliza Ryd (clean female vocals), and Andy Solveström (screams and growls), and some might think that this is overkill, but it does allow the band to draw on a wide range of vocal styles. While Jake E. Berg and Andy Solveström are both good at what they do, it Eliza is Ryd who deserves special mention. She can really belt out some hard rocking facemelters. Her voice is quite powerful voice which is perfectly suited for Amaranthe's brand of uplifting and melodic power metal.
Some might not like this release because of the pop influences, but, if you like the Gothenburg sound and if you like melody, then there is no shame in checking out this release. Out of all those bands who give the Gothenburg sound a twist of pop music, Amaranthe are, in my opinion, the most successful.
1. Leave Everything Behind
3. 1.000.000 Lightyears
5. My Transition
8. Call Out My Name
9. Enter the Maze
10. Director's Cut
11. Act of Desperation