October 23, 2014 Amaranthe – Massive Addictive (Album Review)
Sweden has been a breeding ground for talented Heavy Metal bands for years now, and Amaranthe is no exception to that rule. Forged in 2008 in Gothenburg when former Dream Evil vocalist Jake E. and former Nightrage guitarist Olof Mörck teamed up with soprano vocalist Elize Ryd, drummer Morten Løwe Sørensen, and former Engel bassist Johan Andreassen for a new project full of melodic metal guitars and pop style vocals. Spending the past few years developing their sound, 2013 saw a major breakthrough with their charted sophomore album Nexus. Wasting no time and keeping the creative wheels turning, Amaranthe release their third full-length, Massive Addictive, a little more than a year later. Featuring new harsh vocalist Henrick Englund replacing Andreas Solveström, Amaranthe continue to look forward. Once again teaming up with producer Jacob Hansen, Massive Addictive comes with a buzz of excitement from international fans.
The album begins with the riveting track “Dynamite”, which is infused with techno beats, insane drums, and contrasting vocals. Wild and enticing as well as lyrically powerful, it is a dynamic and impressive opening for Massive Addictive. Jolting and upbeat, “Drop dead Cynical” takes the album to the next level as a rhythmic, psychedelic, and driven track. Following with a strong and diverse sound, “Trinity” takes on a melodic, vivid face with complimenting vocals and lyrics. Deep and liberating, it pulls the listener into the quick tempo and unusual blend of pop and metal. The title track begins with a barrage of techno before Ryd alters the melody into harsh guitar riffs, speedy drums and a loud, bright beat. The growls of Englund punctuate the heavier parts of the melody which is balanced by the syrupy sweet voice of Ryd and the smoothness of Jake E.
Delving deeper, “Digital world” brings another twist to the album with heavy riffs and techno beats blended seamlessly. Enunciated by deep, haunting whispers, the music dives into a complex melody that encompasses the style of Amaranthe. Already enticing, poignant lyrics and upbeat emotional singing bring this together immaculately. The track “True” starts off with a delicate piano ballad before being highlighted by synthetic beats and Ryd’s mournful and passionate singing. Intensity is certainly layered throughout the track, creating a wonderful deep composition. With further exploration Massive Addictive comes to “Unreal”, yet another superb track that engrosses the listener with the unusual merge of Techno, Pop, and Heavy Metal. Heavy and vibrant, the song displays the many talents of each band member, showcasing them flawlessly. “Danger Zone” is well-rounded and complex, in keeping with the duality of genres on offer. Insistent and compelling, it keeps with the surge of power and strength displayed on this album. The heavy growls of Englund embrace this composition as the song returns Amaranthe to its heavy metal roots.
Meanwhile, “Over and Done ” starts as a gentle, moving track, sending the listener for a loop. Exploring a pained, softer side to his voice, Jake E. accompanies a gentle piano melody during the song’s first half. Ryd joins in for the second half of the song as a beautiful guitar solo fills the bridge, pulling the track together impeccably. “Skyline” is an obnoxious, wild track, fitting with Amaranthe’s style and it is a spinning, intense ride through a wonderful interpretation of musical expression. Nearing the end of Massive Addictive the listener come to “An Ordinary Abnormality”. Deep and wonderfully knitted together, this song displays many facets and talents. The deep bellows and quick tempo the epitome of their style. Sending the album out with a powerful explosion, “Exhale” begins with another piano intro before being taken over by thick guitar riffs. Ryd delivers a passionate, emotional performance and Englund matches some fierce deep unclean vocals in time with the guitar riffs, leaving a lasting impact on the listener. Amaranthe shows that this album, like the title, is massively addictive.
Amaranthe has been well known in the metal world for a long time and their unique style has been something to rival. Bouncing back quickly off the success of Nexus with such riveting material, Massive Addictive is one of their strongest, most ingenious albums yet. CrypticRock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.