OK, cards on the table, I really like Amaranthe. There I’ve said it. Ever since coming across Within Temptation a decade or so ago I have had a soft spot for the the female fronted melodic death metal genre and with Maximalism. Amaranthe have managed to keep me hooked in it.
With this album, Amaranthe have managed to combine pop, metal and just a little bit of musical theatre all into one package. Yes, you read that correctly “musical theatre”. For the seasoned metal heads, it may just be too much to take in but for those willing to give the lighter side of metal a chance then this is definitely the place to start.
This is the 4th album from the lovable Swedes with the three singers and whilst that may be construed as a bit of a gimmick, Amaranthe pull it off with just the right balance between all three. Jake E Lundberg gives us the male vocals, Henrik Englund Wilhemsson gives us the growls and Elize Ryd gives us her wonderful female tone and range.
So onto the songs where we will start at the end. Endlessly could have come straight from a Lloyd-Webber musical – I kid you not. Elize sings this one on her own and delivers with passion. The arrangement is great and all things considered it is a great song. Does the song fit in with the rest of the album? Maybe yes, maybe no.
So Endlessly aside when we review what has come before it we get an album full of sub four minute chunks of full on melodic metal that has Amaranthe written all over it.
We start with the song Maximise which comes in like a hurricane and is a slab of Euro rock at its best. Boomerang continues the upbeat nature and is also here and gone before you know it. That Song takes a different route and with it being released in the last few days you can make your own judgement. For me this could be the song that gets Amaranthe heard on your local radio station. And yes this does have the phrase “Rock n Roll” in it.
As we move through 21 and On The Rocks we have sing along choruses, catchy rock riffs and driving drums. Limitless slows it all down slightly but we then move up a notch with Fury which is typical Amaranthe and arguably the best song on the album. Faster, Break Down and Cry, Supersonic and Fireball all have different traits along the same theme and they all zoom past in a flash. There is no requirement for an any in depth analysis of the lyrical content. Amaranthe as always can write a catchy chorus, which only takes a listen or two to grab onto and sing along. And that is all we ask for.
Amaranthe should be proud of Maximalism. It is a great album and these songs I’m sure will be winners on the live circuit. The first 11 songs alone score a 5 out of 5 for me.
- Maximise 3:10
- Boomerang 3:22
- That Song 3:13
- 21 3:05
- On The Rocks 3:09
- Limitless 3:10
- Fury 2:58
- Faster 3:25
- Break Down And Cry 3:56
- Supersonic 3:17
- Fireball 3:14
- Endlessly 3:43
Released: 21st October 2016
Label: Spinefarm Records