AMARANTHE – “Maximalism”

Release: 2016-10-21
Label: Spinefarm/Universal
Genre: Modern Melodic Metal
Duration: 40

After “Amaranthe”, “The Nexus” and “Massive Addictive” now comes “Maximalism”. Swedish-Danish metallers AMARANTHE keep up the pace of releasing an album every two years and don’t let themselves be pigeon-holed in a metal sub-genre.

AMARANTHE: maximiZing your good mood.

This is party music! In general “Maximalism” is heavy on the pop side and brings a lot of easy-listening tracks – metal for the masses, one might say. The opener and latest single of the album is full of electronic elements, but also some heavy guitars, including a solo plus some powerful grunts on top. After that however the album goes over to the softer side of the rock-spectrum, with ‘Boomerang’ and more so with ‘That Song’. The latter is the first single and very similar to ‘I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ in terms of percussion, with clean, groovy vocals that remind me of pop stars. On this track, Elize Ryd can surely be compared to Christina Aguilera. Also: Earworm alert! You’ll be singing ‘That Song’ for some time.

Refreshing to hear some heavier guitars on ’21’, but the general mood of the album stays very light and cheerful with poppy, catchy tunes. ‘On The Rocks’ has some “na na na na”-parts that are surely meant to be sung along, but somehow this is my least favourite song of the album.

There’s still metal in AMARANTHE after all.

Things get darker with ‘Limitless’ and I strangely love the Dubstep combined with the guitars, which come in later adding to the strength of this song that showcases Elize’s sweet and emotional vocals  in a duet with (clean) singer Jake E. Lundberg. And so, track by track the album gains in riffs and metal. Finally ‘Fury’ – the album’s second single – and ‘Faster’ up the tempo and get heavier with great grunts by Henrik Englund Wilhemsson, an example of the band’s Metalcore capabilities.

With ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Fireball’ the band with the three vocalists brings some light to the heavier part of the album, with a number that is pure AMARANTHE. Ending in a melancholic note, ‘Endlessly’ is a wonderfully sung ballad, exploring Elize’s complete vocal range, supported by well arranged strings – the song is wholly charged with the love of the lyrics.

A very varied album with radio potential – I wonder if fans of their raw-edge-material will complain the band is “going mainstream”, comments that are often heard when a Metal band takes a turn like this. I will certainly listen to a couple of songs of this album, ‘Limitless’, ‘Fury’ and ‘Endlessly’ are definitely my recommendations. But even more I look forward to playing some of the tracks myself – on Guitar Hero.

Thanks to being signed to Universal, AMARANTHE‘s fans and Guitar Hero players can find their songs in the Playstation-game, elevating the band to the level of rock giants like RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, IN FLAMES, among others. Something very few female fronted metal bands can say.

Watch the video for AMARANTHE’s “That Song”, first single of the new album, directed by Patric Ullaeus:


01. Maximize
02. Boomerang
03. That Song
04. 21
05. On The Rocks
06. Limitless
07. Fury
08. Faster
09. Break Down And Cry
10. Supersonic
11. Fireball (Bonus)
12. Endlessly (Bonus)