Since 2011 AMARANTHE are trying to establish themselves as one of the leading bands of Swedish power metal, if you can classify them to that genre. Indeed, AMARANTHE supports the fusion of two a priori opposing styles: metal and Eurodance elements. While some were immediately convinced of AMARANTHE’s risky crossing, others persistently reject the Swedish band as an aberration, as a monstrosity that soils good taste and the name of metal music. AMARANTHE are fully aware of this. Their sixth work, ‘Manifest’, which is now accompanied by Angela Gossow (ex-ARCH ENEMY) as manager and signed to the Nuclear Blast label, reinforces the most distinctive features of their music, which has only one mission: entertainment.
Already the first three songs – ‘Fearless’, ‘Make It Better’, ‘Scream My Name’ – hardly leave you time to take a breath. The first guitars on ‘Fearless’ give hints of the dominance of the six-stringers on the album, which never lag behind the keyboard samples. The next track ‘Make It Better’ does not come close to ‘Fearless’ in terms of speed, offers classic modern melodic metal and definitely invites you to head-bang. With ‘Scream My Name’ the first highlight of the record follows, which is directly rung in with a thrilling double bass by Morten, before Elize then enters with powerful vocals. Afterwards ‘Viral’ and ‘Adrenaline’ stamp their way into the listeners ears. ‘Adrenaline’ is related to Power Metal, which you hear especially in the beginning, but the song in general becomes weaker towards the end.
‘Viral’, on the other hand, is a typical AMARANTHE song that is simply fun and includes the trademarks of the Swedes. For song number six, ‘Strong’, Elize is accompanied by Noora Louhimo (BATTLE BEAST) and offers the unmistakable AMARANTHE style, which the Swedes were happy to include here. ‘The Game’ is again a very melodic piece, which reminds us of SLIPKNOTs Joey Jordison, because of the double bass in between. With ‘Crystalline’ AMARANTHE strike calmer tones on the album for the first time. The soulful ballad shows the gentle side of the Scandinavians, with another guest musician on the cello: Perttu Kivilaakso (APOCALYPTICA). ‘Boom!’ even mixes Djent, Dubstep and Metalcore together and gives Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson the opportunity to deliver a corrosive rap in a flash. Here AMARANTHE might have been a bit too cocky, but maybe the one or the other will like it. At the latest on ‘Do Or Die’, on which Jeff Loomis (ARCH ENEMY) plays a guitar solo, you can forgive the Swedes for this faux pas…
One has to accept the way of AMARANTHE in order not to run away immediately. It is a matter of mixing the most obvious keywords of the musical genres used by vigorously mixing them together. Cheesy electro and metal are not necessarily destined to lead a happy marriage. Anyone who knows AMARANTHE knows that the genre of the Swedes likes to lead to discussions. Unlike its predecessor ‘Helix’ (2018), ‘Manifest’ is much more aggressive. If you don’t know the Swedes yet and want to listen to something new and more experimental, you can’t go wrong with ‘Manifest’.
02. Make It Better
03. Scream My Name
07. The Game
11. Die And Wake Up
12. Do Or Die
Amaranthe – Manifest (Nuclear Blast Records)